Monday, July 31, 2006
Everything that's wrong in America is summised in this picture: a smug leader courting the country that launched the largest terrorist attack in our nation's history while a blithe Secretary of State looks on, mesmerized by the self assurance that only the selling of one's soul to the devil can afford.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
Long story short: Most gay men are capable of having sex with a woman, so if your hubby comes out and says that he'd rather have cosmos with you instead of blanking your blank, don't leave him! Just ask him to be faithful.
What a relief! The thought of all the families and marriages that will be saved now brings me to tears...For the idiot jerks who are going to ruin some poor woman's life and their own while trying to be something they're not.
Religion, who needs it?
It's ridiculous that George Michael gets hated on for planning a wedding even though he can't keep it in his pants but slut-face Pam Anderson gets a standing ovation from the world press because she wears a bikini to her wedding. Eff that.
Sidebar: Look at the distended bellies on these two freaks. I don't know why I want them both arrested and flogged. But I do and I hope it happens. Extra sidebar: I think George Michael has his own issues to deal with so my reference to him is an attack on the media's bias. All three of these characters are equally skanky and diseased.
Saturday, July 29, 2006
Love this story from the Times: "The Rev. Gregory A. Boyd caused a stir among members of Woodland Hills Church outside St. Paul, Minn., when he urged an end to sexual moralizing and military glorification and said America should not be proclaimed a “Christian nation.”"
Those of you who have read the Bible will recall the story of Jesus being tempted with lordship over all the world's kingdoms by Satan when he was fasting for forty days. Still, Jesus turned away from these and said that is kingdom would not be a part of this world; a lesson that Christanity has completely forgotten in its quest for power.
With that, I applaud the stance taken by people like Reverend Boyd; I don't have to agree with his views, but I can agree that we both have to co-exist in this country and that neither of us has the right to limit each other's freedoms.
Having been raised as a Jehovah's Witness, it was always impressed upon me that true believers in God focus on Him and His kingdom to right the human condition; to propagate a human and therefore error-bound system would simply be a waste of time. And since Jesus did say that his true disciples would have love for one another, it's arguable that the true faithful are those who aren't engaged in politics at all. Come to think of it, how can Christians today foment the love of Christ if they're too busy deepening the fissures caused by politics?
It's unfortunate that spirituality has been maligned in our country's culture war. That an intangible concept can be so misconstrued to dictate black and white policy is appalling and its a crime that seems to have no end. I'm glad many more people in the Christian community are taking a stand against this and while championing their faith are also championing the existence and liberty of others.
Friday, July 28, 2006
Lance bass is gay. He came out and that's great for him. His boyfriend is super hot. Mazel tov.
The war in Lebanon rages on. OK, Israel, we get it. You are not to effed with. Some people might say their show of force is excessive -- and were it not for the images of complete anhilation that have come out of Lebanon I would vehemently disagree. Unfortunately, Hizbollah's tactic is to use human shields in their war. If the world is serious about getting rid of these monsters then it's going to have to go below the belt. It's a dirty, messy business but someone has to do it.
With that, my prediction is that Israel is going to ride their success in Lebanon to become the world's next super power. Like the Miss Universe pageant, it'll come down to three countries in the race for world dominance: India, China and Israel. China and India have the man power to lead us into the 22nd century, but Israel is going to launch a global blitzkreig once they take over the Middle East.
And speaking of Miss Universe, VIVA PUERTO RICO (my dad's Puerto Rican). Zuleyka Rivera, an 18 year old apsiring actress beat out my favorite, Miss Colombia, for the title. She also fainted right after her victory...that dress was too tight and she was too huugry. Zuleyka really is stunning, though, so if Colombia couldn't take home the gold, I'm glad it's another Latina. Though my top three would have been Colombia, Bolivia and PR. Oh well. Felicidades, Zuleyka!
In other news, the Thomas Suozzi and Elliot Spitzer almost whipped out their man goodies to show who could be the bigger man and better governor of the state of New York. Spitzer remains in the lead; I'm partial to Suozzi.
That aside, I am really proud of my dems for making an aggressive push for a November sweep. They're fiercely blocking the appointment of John Bolton to the post of UN representative. W wants to send that jerk to te UN so our country can officially begin the process of breaking away from the only forum of international dialogue in the world.
Not only that, the Dems have also announced their Six for '06. The agenda is a wonderfully articulate challenge to the reckless Bush administration and a launchpad for the following initiatives:
-- National security
-- Jobs and wages
-- Energy independence
-- Affordable health care
-- Retirement security
-- College access for all
Hot! This is what I want to see. Bullets and action. Let's take back Washington and let's get America back on track.
Now would be a good time to change gears and talk about my nascent eating disorder: David Beckham is too effing hot for words. Check him out in many a speedo while on vacay in Italy. Oh, to be posh.
More to come...
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
I've been obsessed with Eva Peron since I was ten years old. From imaginging myself wrapped in her sumptuous furs and addressing throngs of fans, to losing sleep at night because I feared that her embalmed corpse would come out of the closet to get me, the story of her life continues to inspire and scare me.
So here's a video of Evita addressing the masses in one of her last speeches. Here she recites one of her most famous quotes: "I know that I will leave vestiges of my soul on the path to glory, but my people will raise my name and wave it as a flag of victory."
She died today in 1952 at the age of 33 from cancer.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
First Will Smith and his rocker wife Jada had to lead a march through town this past weekend to ask the residents of the city of brotherly love to stop killing each other and now the Boy Scouts are being run out of town. Thank God.
Seeing the group's anti-gay stance as a violation of the city's anti-discrimination laws, Philadelphia's mayor wants to evict the Cradle of Liberty Council of the Boy Scouts from a city-owned building. Here, here Mayor Street.
The closet-case Boy Scouts' ideas are stupid and dangerous...they're not a religion but a glorified hate group. I have always been suspicious of adult men who become obsessed with children and their activities -- from Boy Scouts to Little League to NSYNC, the U.S. has created many a haven for sexual deviants to lord power over stupid, impressionable children. I remember one Boy Scout troop leader coming into my elementary school classroom when I was about 8 or 9; he was all polished and cute, and I couldn't wait to go on his camping trip in the woods. Then I remember the look on my mother's face when I told her some white guy wanted to take me camping Upstate. A mother always knows....
Anyway, I say kick the Scouts out of the building and let them meet in a field somewhere under a burning cross to engage in their flag worship and pseudo-Christian hate mongering.
While kicking the Scouts out of the building is a great move, Mayor Street better have a plan to address the needs of at-risk youth in his city. The spotlight is on his city now, first for rampant violence and now for his bold decision to promote tolerance among government-sanctioned groups. This is an excellent opportunity for the mayor to open up the channels of dialogue with his constituents to say that the children of Philadelphia come first and that while promoting bigotted ideas is a questionable alternative to street violence, it's time to enlist the support of serious, conscientious adults in the fight to save the future of the city's children.
Monday, July 24, 2006
Yes, a 29 year-old mother of FIVE, fighting for custody of her children because she's been drug free for a year and has been keeping a tidy home thanks to "disability" payments for epilepsy and child support from one of her kids' grandparents. Funny, her kids' grandparents are giving HER child suppport when the actual grandkids are in a foster home. Nice.
"Marie," the subject profiled for the article, has been attending parenting courses and has been learning to deal with one her kids' ADHD (progressive 90s speak for "since you can't smack some sense into your child it's now time to call unruly, inappropriate behavior a disease"). She has certificates galore extolling her potential to be a functioning, upstanding member of society and she is even doing her homework online to learn about her kid's behavior problem. She needs a Web site to tell her her kid can't behave because she can't keep her legs closed? Sheesh.
Anyway, I don't want to spoil the surprise but three pages into the story we find out that our model of redemption is pregnant with her sixth child. I have to admit that until I read that part of the story I was on this woman's side. Hey, nobody is perfect and if my tax dollars have to fund this nasty war in Iraq they might as well help a young woman get back on her feet. But enough is enough.
Stories like Marie's are the reason why the Democrats have to cowtow to peasants and simps. There is no reason why my tax dollars should fund this chick's promiscuity. If there are decent, hardworking families who want to raise her children and teach them that they can be more than a matress and a leech, then I'm all for it. This woman has signed off her right to these children with her flagrant disregard for the law and for her own personal well-being.
I am especially incensed by this story because the woman in question is Puerto Rican. Having grown up in the 'hood myself I've seen many young women think of welfare as a viable option for raising their children. I grew up watching girls not much older than me push strollers while thinking it weird that no time seemed to have passed since we played on my stoop in the summer.
At the heart of this unfortunate situation is an issue of self-worth. I feel as if I know Marie and her family from reading this story. I bet at one point her family just gave up and thought, "oh well, as long as she doesn't go to jail things will be alright." Marie and her family probably don't think much of themselves; like many of the people I grew up around they probably think getting by is just fine and don't see that American Dream as something that applies to them.
As heartbreaking as it is, people like Marie make their lives the government's problem. Since the government is paying for her and her children's well-being then the government should be the one to decide whether she is a fit mother. Clearly she is not and she deserves to have her kids taken away for good.
Sunday, July 23, 2006
The heir-apparent to the future of communism, Hugo Chavez, is starting his own version of the Rainbow Tour in Argentina this weekend with a visit to the home of Che Guevara. By his side for the journey is the big daddy of hope-dashing government himself, Fidel Castro.
Hoping to secure an equally vaseline-lensed place for themselves in history, the two dictators toured the home of El Che while posing for photographers and hundreds of supporters. Note: Fidel needn't worry about his place in history. I'm in Rehobath Beach this weekend and I saw a portly black chick wearing a t-shirt with a picture of Fidel smoking a fat Cuban cigar. Nice.
Here's my bottom line on Chavez: He's an asshole and he needs to be taken out. He would rank third after Jong-il and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in my list of targets. And once our government finally does away with Chavez, they should do something about his wench Cindy Sheehan. Like Bush in the wake of 9-11, she's done a magnificent job of making people hate her while she endures a terrible personal tragedy. I can't stand that media whore, but I digress.
I hope that as Mr. Chavez "walks through history" (as heputs it), the loud-mouth terrorist ponders both his future and that of his country in these heady times. By joining hands with Fidel and taunting the U.S. with his speeches and his trips to Iran and support of North Korea (not to mention the insurgent FARC in Colombia), Chavez is playing with fire. Which means Venezuela is playing with fire. Which means that once the U.S. is done playing hardball in the Middle East, Chavez and the city of Caracas is going to be blown off the map quicker than you can say "conchale, vale." *That would be Venezuelan slang for "damn, dude."
Come to think of it, though, given my own personal grudge with Caracas I don't know how bad it would be if it ceased to exist. I spent a hellish three months there when I was ten and I am literally scarred from it. But that's another can of worms.
So there you have it. A dispatch on a rainy Sunday morning from the most boring gay enclaveI've ever visited -- my ruminations on a person who I think is truly a huge threat to the stability of Latin America. I might post about that wacko Indian Evo Morales from Bolivia at some point, someone I'm sure the CIA is keeping a close eye on, but I have to tend to the boyfriend; he seems to have caught the bug that kept me from blogging last week.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
In my line of work I've been trained to think that I'm only a typo away from getting fired; so when my fav newspaper makes a typo or some other clerical error, it impacts me the way being attacked by a chainsaw wiedling maniac on the subway would.
So check out two standouts from today's Times: If you log on to the paper's homepage you'll see that the paper's effusive review of Jose Rivera's play "Cloud Techtonics" is posted twice, on the front page. That's a PR person's wet dream but surely someone is getting chewed out as I write this.
The next "error" is just a salty headline that would make some of my more conservative/dirty minded clients cringe. Is Korea's taste of summer REALLLLY a long, cold slurp? Hot!
Slow news day (aka I am slammed at the office) hence the inane post.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
So when you wonder why I'm coming down hard on the Christian right in the U.S., look at this pic for an answer...
NOTE: BLOGGER SUCKS TODAY AND WONT LET ME UPLOAD PIX.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Kids today are so out of control. I should know, I watched my parents single-handedly cripple my 19 year-old brother by giving into every last one of his tantrums.
I think Lisa is being too soft on her kids, in fact. The point of her book, though, is that kids need firm direction from their parents. One of the quotes in the book that has some child rights advocates up in arms is this: “Teaching our children to obey us and our words is primarily to teach them to obey God and His Word.” “Because the rules I’m instilling are God’s, I no longer have to respond with ‘Because I’m the mom. That’s why!’ I can calmly tell my kids, ‘Honey, I didn’t make up these rules, God did.”
Well, you know what? When I see 14 year old walking around in shirts that say "Party Favor" or "Property of Boys' Locker Room" I see a clear need for a smack in the face and a double-lock chastity belt.
So, I might not be down with Blair's right-wing Republican ways, but I respect her role as a mother who has to rear her kids in the age of MySpace, reality TV and child advocacy. Blair, do your thing, girl! And if that doesn't work, do what my mom did and beat your bratty kids with a jump rope til they can't even fathom another curse word to spew at you for not letting them watch The Simpsons.
The Boston Globe reports that the tide of acceptance has turned murky in Provincetown as straight people are complaining about harassment from gay residents and visitors to the New England gay hub. WTF?
Straight people can go anywhere they want and hold hands, be fat, be annoying and obnoxious with their offspring and now they want to go to the one of three places in this country where gay people can just "be" and they want to be coddled and fawned over. Sorry, but no.
One woman was horrified that she was taunted for signing a petition AGAINST gay marriage in Ptown.
Mind you, I've advocated for gay people to just shut up and let institutions like the church promote their own policies for membership but the knife cuts both ways. The gay community is entitled to its own space in the world and we have revitalized Provincetown and we're damn proud of it as a gay destination. James and I have taken our families there and we love seeing straight people in Ptown, but that's our turf ("our" meaning the gay community, James and I just rent a house up there) and anyone who wants to upset that balance is in for a battle.
Forget the taunting the straights are going through. Perhaps the biggest threat to the bohemian spirit of Ptown, a spirit that makes it more accessible for some folks than say, Fire Island, are uppety gay men themselves who want to condo-fy the town and prop a Starbuck's and Pottery Barn on every last corner of Commercial Street. Check out this article from last year's NY Times.
Monday, July 17, 2006
Now Bush, in his admirable war-mongering yet pro-life ways, has decided to veto a federal bill that would expand funding for human embryonic stem cell research. With re-elections looming, Washington is up for grabs and this issue could make or break a Republican sweep in November.
I'll admit that I am pro-life, but like many things in life, I've come to accept it as a necessary evil in our society. And yes, I do think abortion, when it spares a reckless teen heartache and strife is evil, as it is when it spares a career-woman a set back on her way up the corporate ladder. I know there are circumstances of rape and incest and health complications that can sway my view on the matter, but at its core, it is in fact the termination of human life, or at the very least, the potential for human life.
But the issue here isn't breeding babies for the sole purpose of curing Alzheimer's. The insight that has been gleaned on treatment for diseases and injuries is beyond encouraging and we're at a very privileged moment in history to make great strides in medicine. While some may argue that harvesting fetuses for the sole purpose of research isn't beyond the realm of possibility for scientists, the fact remains that right now the building blocks for a cure for paralysis or Alzheimer's or Parkinson's Disease is right around the corner. It's like stopping Columbus from exploring the Americas for fear of falling off the face of the earth or stopping space missions because we're going to piss off God.
What's interesting about this article from CNN is that while Bush may be making a very loud, symbolic gesture with this veto, it isn't going to do much to curb this lifesaving research. Other countries like Singapore have made this a top-line action item and are devoting the funds to advance biotechnology. Here in the States, the issue is only a partisan trick that will last for as long as any gerrymandering session. Bush is just taking a position to assert leadership and assuage his uber-conservative fan base. Right now, this technology is so new that by the time we get down to the specifics of this matter to really assess its potential, Bush won't be in office and the American people will have awoken from their eight year stupor.
For more information on stem cell research click here.
Saturday, July 15, 2006
Today's been a wasted day. I've been battling the flu all week and it's finally caught up with me. Tuesday started with a fever and it's dwiddled down to a very annoying sinus infection/cough/sore throat. Grrr.
I braved work but have been knocked out since 8pm last night. In the meantime, I've gotten up sporadically to read this blog, the news, think about things to write about, and vomit. I went outside for all of 15 minutes and in seeing all the tan, gorgeous bodies on 8th avenue I thought it would be best for me to go back home...I belong in a hefty bag under crumpled laundry and cigarette butts.
In reading the news, though, and seeing the escalating violence between Israel and Lebanon, and reading about the G8 Summit and about the UN's unanimous resolution against North Korea's missile program, all I can do is wish this very nasty cold on our world's leaders. If all of them were afflicted with the same gut-wrenching, head-throbbing, chills and insomnia I've had for the past few days I'd bet you my bottom-dollar that half of our conflicts would be resolved. It would be nice if Jong-il, Bush, Olmert and the people from Hizbollah all climbed into a huge bed with down comforters and some Thera-flu for a Golden Girls marathon. I bet you that more would be accomplished in this setting than in any old get-together in St. Petersburg.
Friday, July 14, 2006
I know some of the right wing demagogues are going to want to burn the Times to the ground for reporting on this guy's unfortunate, troubled past, but it's an outstanding example of what's truly wrong with this war. So many of our soldiers are undereducated and have very little prospects for success in their hometowns, so they join the army as a last resort, as a ticket out of poverty. While it's an honorable pursuit, it does say something about the way our country looks at its national defense: we leave it to our poor, to our least-educated, and then expect them to behave responsibly when they're herded off like cattle to one of the most unnecessary wars in our nation's history.
In the meantime, President Bush is supporting Israel's attacks on Lebanon, saying every country has the right to defend itself against attack. That's all fine and good, so we should get ourselves out of Iraq and knock on Iran and North Korea's doors. Oh, Saudi Arabia should be paid a visit, too.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Well, we needn't fear anymore.
Check out this article in USA Today about new communities for gay seniors, one of which has popped up in Santa Fe. The story profiles a darling couple in their 70s who "feared ending up like a lot of older gay men they know — no children, partners dead or gone, families estranged, little to do but sit in their New York City apartments hoping the phone rings."
Living in Chelsea, where I have to plan an outfit just to buy a carton of milk (you should SEE the judgment cast on you by the nobodies sitting at Cafeteria when you're just trying to go about your business) it's hard to think about your life forty years from now -- it's a very here-and-now existence, it's all about the surface, and it's expected that older, uglier queers will one day leave the settlement and let the wolves eat them. Or move to the Upper West Side.
But seeing as I'm not a fan of the UWS, I'm elated to know that not only is there a place for James and I to go when we're old, but it's a place where I will be able to live my permatan dream of hot pool boys and cosmos. And just think, in forty years, with a good plastic surgeon and the help of some over the counter pick-me-ups, those pool boys might be in for a little more than they bargained for ;-)
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
padding herself in gauze for the biggest beauty pageant
in the world and all.
Aw, Miss Jamaica thinks she's doing something fun
and summery. Clearly her country's rampant homophobia
has robbed the island of any good fashion designers.
Not wanting to propagate the stereotype that
Eastern European women are sluts, Miss Poland
slit her dress down the front and didn't bother to
do her hair.
Miss Bulgaria looks vulgar. And pregnant.
SMOKIN'. Check out Miss Colombia, Valerie Dominguez, my favorite for this year's Miss Universe Pageant. The looks, the brains, the BODY, come on, Colombia is OWED a title this year.
I am a HUGE fan of the Miss Universe pageant and this year HAS TO HAS TO be Colombia's year.
Unless you think differently, check out the Miss Universe homepage and tell me who your fav candidate is.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
I grew up as a JW and unlike many people who have left the faith, I don't have an axe to grind against the "society" (which is what JWs call The Watchtower). When I came out about four years ago I was set to part ways with the JWs, but the effects still linger with my family. You can blame the link above for the drama.
So, stand-out quote from the article on the "sin" that is homosexuality: "The Bible is clear: God does not approve of or condone homosexual practices. He also disapproves of people who “consent with those practicing them.” (Romans 1:32) And “marriage” cannot give homosexuality a cloak of respectability. God’s direction that “marriage be honorable among all” precludes homosexual unions, which he considers detestable.—Hebrews 13:4."
Hard to argue with the Bible. So I won't. But I will say that the spinning of old texts to build consensus among fanatics and bigots, REAL bigots who believe that other groups are inferior and not entitled to the same rights as others, is a huge part of today's problems. It's a certainly a big part of mine.
Good. Finally. There'll be opposition to this for sure from the wackos on the right, but I think this is a great move. The U.S. has engaged in some pretty despicable things in the wake of 9-11 and it's time to set things right. The horrific, infuriating events of that day shook up our value system and forced our government to enforce reactionary policy that has sparked our latent culture war.
We're five years into this mess and it's time to stop acting out of fear and invest in long-term initatives that will weed out terrorists, prosecute them, and send a clear message of cooperation to the international community. To yank suspects from their homes and families, with no idea of when they'll be tried and with no access to representation is beyond reprehensible. We've afforded child murderers and rapists more respect even after they confess to their crimes than we do people whose language we can't even understand.
In a statement issued on June 27th by the FARC, Ms. Betancourt, who has dual French-Colombian citizenship, is doing well, as are the American hostages. It appears that the kindappers are willing to negotiate their release. Keep in mind, Betancourt has been held hostage for FOUR YEARS now.
While living in Paris, Betancourt published one of the most informative accounts on the Colombian conflict, a civil-war that has taken many forms since the 1950s as a political, religious, and narco-terrorist assault on the country. Her book, "Rabia en el Corazon" (Anger in the Heart) was released shortly before her kidnapping. To get an idea of what her ordeal must be like, check out my favorite book by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, News of a Kidnapping.
After writing about Cuba last night, I got to thinking about the impact Marxism has had on Colombia. In their fight for an egalitarian society, the rebels have dashed so much of Colombia's potential to be a leader, a beacon, in Latin America. The drug cartels, while proponents of the worst wave of violence ever seen in the country, ironically created the country's middle class, who are now the targets of insurgent groups. So in thinking about Marxism, victimization and Colombia, I thought of Ingrid Betancourt.
I read an interview with her in Paris Match when I was a student in Paris, and my hope was that I would get the chance to meet her while I was there. While that didn't happen, I was inspired by her story, I thought that perhaps she would spearhead a movement that would put Colombia back on the right course.
It's hard not to get angry and combative when you're discussing issues like this. While we're discussing politics and pontificating from our blogs, people are dying and living the conflicts we're milling over.
Monday, July 10, 2006
The article notes that not only is this government waiting for Castro to die, they're actively working with local organizations to promote change within the country.
Personally, I think the best thing that ever happened to Castro's regime is the embargo. In trying to starve the Communist regime to death, we've only given them a bigger point to prove. As some readers of this blog will attest, some people would rather let the world fall apart around them than submit to reason. For the U.S. to begin funnelling money into Cuba nowthough makes as a wager that the country is going to embrace democracy as soon as the old man croaks is a crap shoot.
While countless Cubans have had to flea their homeland, many more have decided to stay. Why is that? Why hasn't there been a revolt in Cuba to overthrow Fidel? As much as many of us here in the States hate him, many people, including Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Harry Belafonte think Fidel is the best thing ever. My point is, the Cubans don't hate Fidel as much as we would want them to. They've had more than enough time to overhtrow that wacko, but he's remained esconsed in power because his people adore him. Think back to Elian, people.
Growing up in a Colombian/Puerto Rican household, I would hear my very outspoken Colombian relatives chide and praise the Cuban people for sticking together in this country and making something of themselves. In short, the stereotype goes, the Cubans don't bullshit. My point here is that this intrepid and industrious people would very well have gotten rid of Castro if that's what they really wanted.
Not to offend my Cuban people in Miami, but the Castro is a pig rhetoric is old and is being preached to the choir. Sidebar: These Cuban Republicans really annoy me, though I loved how people like Senator Mel Martinez had to swallow their "do it for yourself" politics when the immigration debacle took center stage. Their thinking is that they left Cuba with nothing and came to this country to make themselves somebodies, without the help of the government. Fair enough, but one might argue that assylum (something we're not handing out to the Haitians, for instance, is a huge help).
But I digress.
I say we lift the embargo, let the Cubans enjoy the spoils of commercialism and use that $80 million to help U.S. organizations that are helping our kids read, write, add and subtract better so that they can compete with their Cuban counterparts. They've got doctors for days and the highest literacy rate in Latin America. Azucar!
*Note: Gay Conservative Liberal may be a bigot, but he loves Pandas.
AP: Tai Shan, right, and his mother Mei Xiang, take a close look at a frozen treat that was made for him on his first birthday, Sunday, July 9, 2006, in the outdoor panda exhibit at the National Zoo in Washington. The frozen melange was filled with apples, yams, carrots and fruit juices. More than 1.2 million have visited the panda exhibit since the cub first went on display last December.
Roshan Qasem, 11, will join the household of Said Mohammed, 55; his first wife; their three sons; and their daughter, who is the same age as Roshan.
So sad. A photo essay from the New York Times on child brides in Afghanistan. This is our problem now, too. If Afghanistan has embraced democracy, will they embrace human rights too? Not sure if we should just look away. These are cultural issues...sad, but a fact of life for these people. Or am I wrong?
...to just shut up and let the judiciary process take its course before we jump to conclusions about our soldiers in Iraq. The latest out of Baghdad is a horrible story about the rape and murder of a young Iraqi girl and three members of her family.
Abu-Garib, Gitmo, Haditha...ladies and gentlemen the war on terror has taken a nosedive. I know these young men are out there in the worst conditions imaginable, but this sort of behavior is unexcusable. We're not talking about a random shootout, we're talking about the continued violation of human rights by invading forces in a country that hasn't done a single thing to us.
Islam might be the biggest threat to the West right now, but our ill-informed policy and this evil war are a very, VERY close second.
Sunday, July 09, 2006
Once again, congrats to the Italian team. The horns are blaring out our window here in Chelsea as the cars drive down to little Italy.
Check out the main page to Il Corriere della Sera, Italy's leading newspaper. It's going to take a while to load, the whole world is flocking there now. I was so rooting for France until the minute Zidane went awol on that Italian guy.
Sidebar, those Italian dudes are SMOKIN...all swarthy and tatooed.
Love the headline in this article in Italian: Choc francese: «Meritavamo di vincere»
"French Shock: We Deserved to Win"
Aww. Not so much. Tant pis!
If you want to know what inspired me to create this blog read this. It's a letter from the Westboro Baptist Church, the people who picketed Matthew Sheppard's funeral and who are now picketing U.S. soldiers' funerals. Their belief: homosexuality is the most grievous of sins and our country, for harboring "sodomite dogs" deserves every terrorist attack, natural disaster and dead soldier it grieves.
I hate these people. I have been horrified by their existence since the day my roommate at Boston University sent me a link to their site over IM. I was such a closet case back then that I grieved Matthew Sheppard's death internally because I was too afraid to say it affected me at all. To then know that someone could hate me so much without knowing me just scared the crap out of me.
Today's debate over gay marriage is but one or two rungs above the hatred that these sickos in Kansas are spewing. Fear that this hatred will consume our country and rob me and countless other people of their rights is what prompted me to speak out. My "diatribe" on Islam comes from a place of anger and fear. I am angry that the name of God is dragged through the mud daily by evil people. I am angry that so-called believers are letting their faiths become hotbeds of terror.
In my indictment of Islam I AM condemning moderate Muslims who aren't putting a face on the softer side of the faith. In this post I am also coming out swinging at the Christians who believe God loves everyone except x, y, z individuals. So let's call a spade a spade. The Westboro Baptist Church is out for everyone's blood, just like fanatical Muslims. They are using Christ's name to say "Thank God for 9-11," "Thank God for AIDS," "Thank God for Katrina." The U.S. Christian community has to respond to this. They either distance themselves from these lunatics by publicly denouncing them as un-Christian or they can look the other way while they take the faith into new depths of depravity.
It's on and poppin' at 1pm EST when France and Italy go head-to-head for the final match of the World Cup. My hopes are on France, but I know Shakira is gonna blow the world away with her intro performance.
I'll be watching the game with my Colombian relatives in Queens.
I couldn't be more thrilled by the discourse that is taking place on this humble forum and I see I have hit a nerve with several readers. If I offended some people with my last two posts or made some new friends in the blogosphere, then that's great. I'm not here to make nice or pussyfoot around my beliefs. As an American, as a gay man, as a human being, I feel threatened by fanatical Islam.
Those young, modern "Muslims" who don't go to Mosque and are more concerned with downing Cristal and sleeping around (per one reader's comments) don't count in my "ranting." If you're bowing five times a day on a rug facing Mecca chances are you're out for my blood.
Having been raised a Christian I am very familiar with the Scripture that reads "friendship with the World is enmity with the Lord." Islam has a similar precept and in seeking their God's favor they have declared war on the world. And speaking of Christians, I know too well about the Inquisition, the Crusades, the Holocaust and more recent ethnic conflicts in Rwanda and the Balkans. But here and now, Islam is the biggest threat to the safety of the world.
I have been challenged by some of my readers to do more homework on the history of Islam. I'm not an idiot and am familiar with the basic principles of the faith and the origins of some its customs; but having an interest in history and world events as I do, I would like to know what books I should be reading to either assuage my fears or at the very least form a more air-tight foundation for my arguments.
So, if I've really really upset you, please point me in the direction of some books you think would be of benefit to me and I promise to report on at least two of them by the end of the summer.
Saturday, July 08, 2006
I usually post a few entries a day, but given the solemnity of July 7th, the anniversary of the attack on London, I thought to focus my comments on what I believe is the most important issue of our time.
In reading the comments on yesterday's post I was appalled by the sympathy that has been expressed for Islam, a faith that, if applied to the letter, would call for all of us non-Muslims to be cast off the face of the earth. And yes, all religions are absolutist in their claims to sovereignty, but as one person wisely commented, Christians aren't boarding buses and planes to blow themselves up. Further, I made it very clear that fundamentalism in this country is a problem all its own that must also be dealt with. But seriously, people, if you're more scared of Christians than Muslims please pass me that crack you're smoking. It sounds real good.
What troubles me about the debate over Islam, over the debate on Iraq or any conflict for that matter, is that otherwise normal, compassionate people (I would like to include myself in that group) are forced to take sides and make absolute statements for the advancement of a particular ideal. I expressed my disappointment in the Islamic faith as I see so-called followers of God not only killing "infidels," but each other. The Shiites in Iraq are no better than the Somali fighters who opened fire on a group of young people watching the World Cup this past week. As current events clearly show, whatever vestige of temperance exists in the Islamic faith has yet to manifest itself. I expressed my sadness over this yesterday as I am a student of international affairs and despise sweeping generalizations -- however, I personally feel as if I have no choice but to feel the way I do about Islam.
Someone who commented on my post alluded to the caption under my photo that reads that I am fed up with the hateful rhetoric from the right as if to say that I am no better for my own "hateful" take on Islam. That couldn't be farther from the truth. Ladies and gentlemen, I grew up a Christian and hold the ideals of my faith close to my heart but have seen first hand how cold and uncaring one's brothers and sisters in the faith can be when you start to differ from them. In the midst of our country's culture war Americans are indeed turning on each other and that, too, saddens me. Believe me, the minute Christian fundamentalists start assailing gays with bullets I will be the first to blog about it, unless I'm at the front lines of battle myself.
It's been asked if I know anything about Islam, if I know any Muslims, and the answers to both questions is yes. Would you believe that I grew up in a six family brownstone in Brooklyn with three other Muslim families? They're lovely people, but I absolutely believe that no one in their Mosque is calling for fair treatment of gays, women and non-muslims. To use the right's rhetoric, an institution should be judged by its ideals and not the actions of its individuals -- so what ARE Islam's ideals? World events, people, look at world events for the answer.
Having lived in France I've also seen how Arabic immigrants are at a gross disadvantage when it comes to education and access to employment. However, would these people's situation be any better in the countries they left? They obviously moved to France for a reason. So why, then, would disgruntled youths decide to torch their own neighborhoods? How is THAT the fault of the French government? Youths were setting the elderly on fire, and somehow we have to look at "societal pressures" instead of calling this behavior criminal and fanatical?
As for the comment that Andrew Sullivan should be ashamed for linking to my blog I can only say that it certainly made my day that someone of his stature would direct readers to this site. I am not an expert on world events but rather an observer -- the intention behind this blog is to engage in dialogue with others and to entertain different points of view.
At any rate, this debate predates all of us and sadly, it looks like it will linger long after we're gone. If you're so irate, no matter what side you're on, do make it a point to make our legislative process, our democracy, work for you. Make your voice heard by the people in power to actually effect change and hope for the best.
Friday, July 07, 2006
What's most frightening about these attacks, as was the case with 9-11, is that they were planned within the borders of the world's most successful democracies. In trying to capture the hearts and minds of the Arab world in the middle east, it seems that the UK, the US, France, and other European nations are losing sight of a battle on their own turf.
I will make no qualms about it: I am convinced that Islam is the biggest threat to the safety of the West. Muslims have no allegiance to anyone except their faith, a faith that demands the head of every "infidel" on the planet. This is a mindset that predates the U.S.' wrongful invasion of Iraq, that predates the Zionist movement, and that is turning the world community against each other.
Muslims living in the West don't harbor a nostalgic or romantic connection to their faith and homeland while living in a foreign land; they're pissed that their new neighbors don't share their beliefs. They don't want to become a part of their adopted countries, be it France, the U.S., or England, they prefer to sulk among their own, hating and plotting against everyone who is not like them. We saw this in France last summer when "la racaille," or ilk, emerged from the ghettos they've created for themselves to torch cities across the Republic. And it's too ironic that Danish embassies were torched and civilians were murdered during riots that ensued over cartoons that depicted the prophet Mohammed as a terrorist.
(Note: The editors of the Danish daily that published the infamous Mohammed cartoons should be tried for incitement of a riot as there was no need to run these cartoons in the first place. There was no precedent for these cartoons, as I learned at a lecture by the Danish Consular General here in NY at the Asia Society in April, other than to test the tolerance of the Danish Muslim population for cartoons about their faith. What a stupid experiment.)
I'm all for co-existence and peace and bla bla bla, but these people cannot be reasoned with, they cannot be trusted, they will cut your head off the minute you sit down at the negotiation table.
What's even more infuriating is that not only are they using violence to advance their jihad, they're using their enemies laws as well. Case in point, the trial of author/journalist Oriana Fallaci for "defaming Islam" in a book called The Force of Reason. The plaintiff, an Italian Muslim-activist, is filing suit against Fallaci under the guise of an Italian law that prohibits the defamation of faiths. Among other things Fallaci is accused of inciting hatred against Muslims (I would cite 9-11 as a more immediate example, but oh well).
(Note: I am grossly paraphrasing the gist of the Italian law under which Falacci is being tried.)
As I write this entry I am disappointed in myself for coming to the conclusion that in the middle of so much hate and violence in the world it could be so easy to point to just one enemy. But Islam's myopic view of the world is forcing people to take sides in the wake of the third world war. Make no mistake: fundamentalism in the U.S. is its own beast to be grappled with, but it hasn't manifested itself in the form of suicide attacks on civilians. We have been forced to make a decision, we have been summed up in an involuntary war and we're all complicit in its future...choices must be made.
Whose side are YOU on?
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Ann Coulter is digging her fangs into Ruppert Murdoch after the New York Post reported that parts of the peroxide she-devil's book Godless were plagiarized.
Book Standard reports: Yesterday, Ann Coulter took aim at the New York Post, the newspaper that first reported alleged plagiarism in Coulter’s book Godless, as well as in her syndicated column.
Coulter wrote: "Once considered a legitimate daily, the Post has been reduced to tabloid status best known for Page Six's breathless accounts of Paris Hilton's latest ruttings, and headlines like 'Vampire Teen—H.S. Girl Is Out for Blood.' How crappy a newspaper is the Post? Let me put it this way: It's New York's second-crappiest paper."
Oops, did I say that? I meant to say that I love seeing that wormy tramp writhe under the microscope of public scrutiny. It's even better that that litter-box-lining "newspaper" is bruning the Coulter at the stake.
Someone enlighten me, when exactly was the Post "considered a legitimate daily?"
Read more of Ann's delirium tremens here.
Read it at Reuters.
Recognize it or not, it's happening (gasp): gay couples are living together, paying rent, paying taxes, dealing with ungrateful, bitchy relatives and are pooling their resources together to scrape up the money for a $2million-walk-in-closet.
What's interesting about this is that the issue stems from a lawsuit that seeks to overturn a 97-year-old state law that confines marriage to a union between a man and a woman. Were those gay Victorians causing so much ruckus that lawmakers had to create legislation to keep men and women "normal?"
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
My friends live in Chicago and they've been happily married for one year (read about their fab wedding on my travel blog, in the entry marked July 24, 2005.); they are open-minded, kind, sopisticated and loaded. So of course their opinion matters.
I'll let Mike, a lawyer, make his case first. I'll chime in after...
Ok, just want to make sure that my wife isn't misrepresenting my feelings on the Gay Games so that I come off as a shallow, frat-boy, bigot (guilty on the first two, but not that last charge :)).
My "objection" to the games is based on my understanding that the games organizers present this event as a true athletic competition and not a "pride" or community event. I think that by doing this it actually plays into the stereotype that sexuality has anything to do with athletic ability (clearly it does not). This type of event runs the risk of characterizing homosexuality as a type of handicap that prohibits athletes from participating in mainstream athletic events. The obvious (and yes cynical and nefarious) connection can be drawn to the special olympics- i.e those athletes are inherently different and less athletic and can not compete on a level playing field with other athletes, so the playing field needs to be altered in order for these athletes to participate.
I know that this is very Republican of me, but this is the same argument that can be made against hate crime legislation and affirmative action- i.e the minute society starts providing separate "protections" or standards for any class of people, those separations signal that the segment of the population that it applies to is somehow less capable and in need of the extra protection. Now, you can make a million very good arguments that this approach is needed in connection with punishment for criminal activity, access to education and employment opportunities, etc. however, if you look at it this way, it may do more harm than good when it comes to something as trivial as athletic competition.
First of all, this is the longest comment EVER on my three-week-old blog, so I want to thank Mr. Mike for taking the time to share his views.
That said, I'm sure the organizers of the games would want everyone to see this as one of the largest community events in the world that uses athleticism and sportsmanship to make a case for inclusion and acceptance.
While creating special programs, events and legislation to protect individuals may point to a "weakness" on a minority's behalf, it also speaks to a greater problem that is the bigotted and oppressive politics promoted by a larger segment of the population. And I'm not saying that every heterosexual white person has it in for every gay, Latino person, I'm saying that issues like race and orientation, no-brainers for a straight white person, are too broad and unnecessarily difficult for this group to process.
But these issues have been at the crux of every turning point in our nation's history. From the Civil War to the Great Depression to the Civil Rights movement, the elusive ideal of equality has been chased across battlefields, a hell-bound stockmarket and on the roads of the South..and we have yet to find it.
Here we are in 2006, and in the middle of a war, the powers that be are promoting changes to our Constitution to take away rights from groups who don't fit in. I'd definitely say that that puts my community in a weak position.
At the same time, that's not to say our community is powerless. Instead of shrinking into a corner, we are making every effort to be a visible, integral part of this nation. How patriotic, right? We're using our own money, our own connections and our own clout to celebrate our diversity, to promote an image of ourselves that is positive -- sports do bring classes to the same level -- and to encourage people who might otherwise be ashamed of who they are to embrace it and strive for success. I believe that's another Republican/puritan ideal.
And the games aren't exclusionary. Many heterosexual athletes partake of the experience, but this is a forum where teams are actually encouraged to act like teams -- players aren't alienated for who they are nor are they forced to hide who they are from their team mates.
At the heart of this debate, though, we're still using the terms "groups," "special," and "protection,"divisive terms that highlight the fact that Americans don't just see other Americans when they see their neighbors. They see labels; they see orientation, they see race, they see class -- until we do away with this outlook, every measure has to be taken to promote and celebrate diversity.
See you Sunday for the final showdown between Italy (who killed the German team yesterday in a 2-0 win) and FRANCE, who just won against Portugal in a tight 1-0 finish.
A dimanche, mes amis! Vive les Bleus!!!
Sidebar: I thought only my colored people talked back to the screen...could there be, inside every gay man, an outspoken colored woman clamoring for attention?
Love, love, LOVE the fashion and the comeuppance of an eager college grad who works a crooked system to her advantage while losing a full dress size in the process.
Cheer as I might, though, I couldn't help but feel the same pangs of fear and dread that overpowered me for nearly a year in my first job out of college. Much like the heroine in "Devil," I too was victim of the moodswings and power trips of an evil bitch whose personal life was a shambles. If you think every tree-hugging feminist has a nurturing streak think again; I worked for the meanest, most self-loathing, fat-girl-turned-muscle-bitch in the non-profit sector and it almost killed me.
Little gay me bore the brunt of an absentee boyfriend and every other man who rejected this harlot. I also got more than a daily earful on my shortcomings as I hobbled into her office with her scalding black coffee. The abuse was so bad that I went running into the arms of the first closet case with OCD who so much as winked at me at a bar. Self esteem was so scarce back then.
But all that has changed. Today I'm rocking the (discount) designer duds in a more fulfilling, better paying PR job with fun, interesting people. For every bad day that happens along in any career, I am so thankful that not once have I been treated by my bosses at my current agency (we just had our 2 year anniversary) with the disdain and arrogance that met me in my first PR job.
Mind you, I did a five month stint at the Fox News Channel and those right-wingers were the most polite people you'd ever want to meet. Lesson learned: politics and civility don't go hand in hand.
With all our resources tied up in Iraq how WILL the Bush people handle a REAL threat from a country that is actually building a weapons arsenal against us?
Wait, should the Times even write about this stuff? I mean, we don't want the North Koreans to know our government is monitoring them, just like we don't want the terrorists to know that we're monitoring their bank accounts.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Marc Jacobs is selling a line of totes and tees with Al Gore's picture and the slogan "Give 'Em Hell, Al!" to raise money for the former Vice President's environmental crusade.
Good man, Marc.
If we have to draw party lines then I'm going to leave it to the talents of Mr. Jacobs to speak for me.