Thursday, January 31, 2013

Random Musings

In the Color Me Not Surprised News, actor and singer, and Gomer Pyle of The Andy Griffith Show, Jim Nabors has come out as a gay man. Not exactly the biggest secret, you know. But, in the Pleasant Surprise News, is the fact that Nabors came out, to the world, because he married his longtime partner, Stan Cadwallader, in Seattle.
Nabors released a statement to Hawaii News Now:
"I'm 82 and he's in his 60s and so we've been together for 38 years and I'm not ashamed of people knowing, it's just that it was such a personal thing, I didn't tell anybody. I'm very happy that I've had a partner of 38 years and I feel very blessed. And, what can I tell you, I'm just very happy."
Congratulations to the happy couple, and, of course, as both a wedding gift and coming out present, they will be receiving the Homo HQ Coming Out Toaster Oven with our good wishes.
So, Cissy Houston has written a book about her daughter, Whitney, and timed it to come out right before the first anniversary of Whitney’s death.
Lovely parenting, but, hey, she’s got bills.
But one of the most interesting parts of Houston’s new almost-tell-all is that if Whitney had come out to Cissy as a lesbian she would not have liked it, or condoned it.
Lovely parenting.
Also comes word that it wasn’t Bobby Brown who hooked Whitney on The Cocaine; it was Whitney’s own brother, Michael, who says she began using back in the 80s, loooooong before she met Brown. Now, Brown doesn’t get points for that because he’s a drug addict and spousal batterer, but now we know that the whole Houston clan was wrong that he got Whitney into drugs.
Cissy also mentions that, as Whitney got older, she rarely saw her daughter, which got me to wondering….
Whitney is gay. Whitney’s longtime friend, and personal assistant, Robyn Crawford was her lover. Whitney knew Mama Houston would not be having as lesbian daughter so she distanced herself from Mama. Whitney wanted a relationship with Mama, and wanted to be open about Robyn, but couldn’t, so she took to drugs to self-medicate.
Now, this could be totally off-base, or Whitney Houston could have been just another case of a young gay person turning to drugs because their own family refused to accept their sexual orientation.
That’s just my Two Cents.
Out in Wyoming a bill to make same-sex marriage legal failed by a 5-4 vote.
But, and this is a little but, the vote for a domestic partnerships bill was approved by a 7-2 vote.
It’s nice, you know, but it’s ‘less than’.
You can do better Wyoming.
UPDATE: Apparently not. 
The first pro-gay legislation that has reached Wyoming's House floor for debate was defeated Wednesday as the House voted 35-24 to reject a domestic partnership bill that would have given same-sex couples in the state the opportunity to gain most of the legal rights of marriage.
A former Episcopal priest, who is royally pissed off that his church hierarchy has accepted The Gays, has decided to switch teams and play for the Catholics because their Gay Hate runs deep.
So, John Cornelius has become New York state's first married Catholic priest, though he has agreed, as part of the deal to switch sides, to stop screwing his wife and become celibate.
His wife is said to be ecstatic over the arrangement.
So, Immigration Reform, huh?
And bipartisan at that.
Meaning the GOP is onboard. And what a surprise that is, considering one of those GOPers is John McCain who was so virulently anti-immigration that just a couple of years ago, while running for re-election, he proposed stricter immigration laws, higher border fences and guards with guns to shoot the brown folks who might be sneaking in through Arizona.
Why the switch Grampa? Did you suddenly have a change of heart or….what’s that? Yes, the GOP lost the White House this last November in large part because their candidate was a dick and because the Hispanic vote went overwhelmingly Obama.
So, you’re pandering.
Same old GOP.
But, while we’re on the subject of Immigration reform, and that bipartisan effort, which came just minutes before President Obama unveiled his Reform plans, let’s take note that McCain’s plan doesn’t include any mention of same-sex binational couples because he says, and I’ll paraphrase, “The Gays don’t matter.”
Obama’s plan, however, does have inclusions for same-sex binational couples.
So, while McCain and his ilk are trying to pander to the Hispanic vote they’re still unable to handle The Gays.
Again, same old GOP.
MGB™, aka Mama Grizzly Bore™, aka Half-Term-Quitter-Delusional-Fuck-Monkey-Blabberer™, has been quietly ‘let go’ from FauxNews.
Finally they did something right.
But MGB™ says her fight isn’t over and she’ll be Teabaggin’ till the End Times:
"I was raised to never retreat [unlike when she quit being Governor of Alaska because it got too hard] and to pick battles wisely, and all in due season. When it comes to defending our republic, we haven't begun to fight! But we delight in those who underestimate us."
This is nearly everyone in the world with more than two brain cells to rub together.
Face it, MGB™, you’re done. When the most inane, rightwing, conservative, Tea Party loving news channel calls you irrelevant, you’re irrelevant.
Go have someone write a book for your, and I suggest the title, Going Unemployed.
The Westboro Baptist Church has filed a Supreme Court amicus brief against the repeal of Proposition 8 and while they say they support "neither party" in the case, their, um, legal citations are all Bible verses.
So, there was this guy, in Tennessee naturally, who took his dog to be euthanized.
The dog was mean? No.
The dog was rabid? No.
The dog was incurably ill? No.
The man thought the dog was .... wait for it .... gay.
So, of course, like most things that are presumed to be gay it should be put to death,
Luckily there are sane heads, even in Tennessee--sorry to the Sane Headed Tennesseans who read ISBl .... I don't count you among the crazies--have rescued the dog and will neuter him and give him all the appropriate shots and set him up for adoption.
To an owner with a brain, this time.

Fontana School District: Assault Weapons, Not Books

Out in California, the Fontana Unified School District Police Department—since when did school districts have their own police departments is an entirely different discussion--has purchased 14 AR-15 assault weapons in order to, they say, protect students from the threat of gun violence. They didn’t use the money to buy books, or computers, or give teachers more money, they bought weaponry.

Olsen-Binks, Jones, Warren
District Superintendent Cali Olsen-Binks approved the acquisition of the rifles, which he says are being held in locked safes for the sole use of responding police officers in the event of an attack. It begs the question: do the police in that area not have enough guns that they need an armory at the schools?

Both the Fontana Police Chief, Rodney Jones, and the mayor, Acquanetta Warren, supported Olsen-Binks’ decision to buy guns instead of books; Jones said, “It’s unfortunate that we have to have that, but it’s the best message we can send to anybody that thinks to harm our children. The message we’re sending is…not here, not now, we’re prepared for you. And if you seek to harm our children, we will neutralize that threat and you will most likely be killed.”

Actually, the message might be, ‘if you plan on coming here, we’re heavily armed so you be heavily armed, too, and more innocent lives will be lost.’

Not to be outdone in idiocy, Mayor Warren said, “Everyone wants children safe. At this time, we as a community, we have to come together and find other ways. But in the interim, our police officers need to be equipped.”

So, rather than find an alternative other than weaponry method to keep kids safe, you’ll just stockpile guns?

Not everyone is on board with the superintendent, the mayor, and the police chief. School board member Sophia Green says, “If a person who has the intention of coming on campus to kill… knows we have the AR-15s…they might come with something even bigger or better. They will come prepared.”

Funny. That’s what I said a few lines up. Wonder why Olsen-Binks, Jones and Warren didn’t get that?

Plus, Sophia Green is alleging that school officials have held three public safety meetings and failed to mention once that the weapons had already been purchased.

It was all done in secret.

Guns. In schools.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Architecture Wednesday: Budapest Loft

Okay, this isn't so much architecture as it is reinvention, interior architecture, and design, but this is exactly what I would want if I lived in an apartment: modern, Old World, eclectic, utilitarian .... cool. The concrete floors; the timber ceiling; the old brick walls; the great windows .... cool.
It's over 2,000 square feet and on the market for a shade over $900,000....not including airfare. But, if it comes furnished as is, and they leave the wine wall, well, i could be talked into making an offer .... when I hit the Lottery.

Another One: Jadin Bell

Jadin Bell, an Oregon teenager, was another one of those kids, targeted for being gay, or perhaps just seeming to be gay—whatever that means—until he got to a point where he could no longer take it. So he went to the playground of Central Elementary School in La Grande, climbed to the top of a play structure, and hanged himself.

A passerby saw his body and tried rescuing him; Jadin was taken to Portland and Doernbecher Children's Hospital where he was put on life support. Over the weekend, doctors detected little brain activity and the family decided to take him off life support.
"If someone was down and out he would walk into a room and say a couple quick words and everybody would just forget about their problems and smile. He just had a gift…. He was different, and they tend to pick on the different ones."--Bud Hill, family friend.
Why is ‘different’ so bad, and what is ‘different’? If only these kids could survive these harsh years they would come to realize that it’s the ‘different’ kids who grow up to be something special, who grow up understanding different and what it means to be different.

Hill says Jadin asked his parents to home school him because he was afraid the bullying—online and in person—was just going to get worse, but ultimately, he decided he might be able to withstand it.

 The school district says it was in the process of investigating when Jadin tried to end his life, but how long does it take? If the bullying is online, there is evidence of it; if the bullying is personal there had to have been witnesses. Those bullies should be taken, arrested and prosecuted for causing the death of Jadin Bell; for causing the deaths of so many….

Some 200 people, including family members and classmates, turned out at a candlelight vigil for Jadin, where he was remembered as an outgoing member of the La Grande High School cheerleading squad and a gentle, caring friend. But, again, not one of those people saw anything? Not one of those people came forward and gave the names of the bullies? If we don’t remove the bullies and the bullying from schools, all we’ll be taking out of schools will be kids in body bags.
"He is amazingly sensitive. If he saw a wounded butterfly [as a child] he wanted to heal it ... He is an amazing young man who is smart and very social; he has a persona and a presence that you want to be a part of."—his friend, Jody Bullock.
And now he’s gone, because he was ‘different’. How long do we let this go on? How long before we decide to prosecute the bullies for literally taunting someone to death? This isn’t child’s play, nor is it kids being kids. This is berating, pushing, shoving, name-calling, harassing, online torture, kicking, spitting on young kids because they don’t fit into what some delusional bully with too much time on his hands finds ‘normal.’

To me, Jadin Bell was the normal one, and those kids who bullied him online and in person are the ones who aren’t normal. They’re the problem and we need to start dealing with the problem.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Pregnant As A Result Of Rape And Had An Abortion? You Could Go To Prison For That In New Mexico

Cathrynn Brown: The Face of Crazy

Earlier today, we talked about the Sate of Crazy, aka Arizona, but now we’ll turn our attention to their neighbor, Friend In Crazy, aka New Mexico.

A Republican lawmaker, and woman, state Representative Cathrynn Brown, introduced a new bill last week that would legally require victims of rape to carry their pregnancies to term in order to use the fetus as evidence for a sexual assault trial.

Yes. You get raped, and wind up pregnant, you must have the baby because it’ll be Exhibit A in the trial of your rapist….if he’s caught.

Brown’s House Bill 206 would charge a rape victim who ended her pregnancy with a third-degree felony for "tampering with evidence."

The bill says, plainly:
“Tampering with evidence shall include procuring or facilitating an abortion, or compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion, of a fetus that is the result of criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime."
A woman who is raped, and has an abortion, would face up to three years in prison for terminating the pregnancy. Way to make the victim the criminal, Cathrynn.

Of course, since the Democrats have a majority in both chambers of New Mexico's state legislature, the bill has very little chance of surviving, but, still, it points out the lengths to which the GOP will go to control what a woman does with her own body.

Now, Cathrynn Brown, after the story broke and people everywhere began asking what kind of crazy fuckmonkey would propose such legislation, backtracks a bit, now saying the goal of the bill is to punish the person who commits incest or rape and then procures or facilitates an abortion to destroy the evidence of the crime.

Except, the bill, in Brown’s own language, plainly states “tampering with evidence shall include procuring or facilitating an abortion.”

Now, it make also state that it also means someone who coerces another person into having an abortion, but it’s clear she also meant the victim of rape is a criminal if she terminates the pregnancy.

New Mexico? If you’re listening, maybe you ought to rethink re-electing Ms. Brown. She clearly belongs in the Arizona state House.

Arizona, Where Crazy Lives ....

I'd say it was a good thing I graduated high school back in the Dark Ages, because if I was about to graduate, and lived in Arizona, well, I might not make it.

We all know that Arizona has developed a penchant for political stances seem illegal, crazy, racist and discriminatory, but now they've added a whole new Plank to the state's Crazy Platform.

A new bill has been introduced at the Legislature--proposed by a group of Republicans, of course--that would require Arizona students to recite a loyalty oath to the United States and its Constitution before they can graduate high school. This "loyalty" oath would be a prerequisite for graduation from any public high school in Arizona starting with the 2013-14 school year, and it goes a little something like this:
I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose or evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge these duties; so help me God.
Sounds a little like the Oath of Office President Obama took just last week, no? And it's also remarkably similar to oaths of office taken by members of Congress.

As with most bills put forth that the House Of Crazy, aka the Arizona GOP-controlled Legislature, this new bill could face legal challenges if it is approved.

Jehovah’s witnesses, some Muslims and pacifist Quakers have in the past challenged loyalty oaths imposed by the federal government and other agencies, saying they conflict with their beliefs and religious professions. Similarly, some Arizona students could challenge the proposed high school oath as a violation of their religious liberties and freedom of expression.

Freedom of expression?

Not in Arizona.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The BSA Threatens to Kick Out Pack 442 For Supporting Gay Scouts .... The Pack Blinks .... Followed By An UPDATE

The Boy Scouts are all about building character; the kind of character that says if you’re gay you don’t count, you don’t fit in, you don’t matter. The kind of character that says if you want to practice tolerance, teach tolerance, even be tolerant, you cannot be part of the Boy Scouts of America.

In Washington DC, the Boy Scouts council in charge of overseeing scout programs is threatening to kick out a Maryland troop for posting a statement on its website declaring it won't discriminate against gay scouts. That’s character. You are open and accepting of The Gays? Get out. And, um, stay out.

Last September, the families of Pack 442, in Cloverly, Maryland, anonymously voted and overwhelmingly approved to adopt a non-discrimination statement. Non-discrimination; that's a good thing, or so I thought, but then I am not a Boy Scout.

According to Theresa Phillips, committee chair of Pack 442, the pack wanted approved the statement to show the Boy Scouts of America that they “will not stand for the discrimination of homosexual minors or adults whatsoever."

But after the statement was posted, the National Capital Area Council [NCAC] demanded the pack strike it from their website. Theresa Phillips says, “At first they [said] they would "allow" us to leave it up based on our right to freedom of speech. Now they are doing a 180 and basically asking us to either conform to BSA's discriminatory policy or get out."

Building character. And they don’t care who knows it. Les Baron, CEO and Scout Executive of NCAC, says that if Pack 442 doesn’t erase the declaration, "they will not be recognized as an organization, although that's our last resort."

Um, but that appears to be their only resort as none of the parties involve say any other offer or request was put forth. And, if Pack 442 doesn’t conform to BSA Intolerance and Hate, the troop will lose access to member insurance, rank badges, and scout camps.

For being open and accepting of gay scouts.

As the BSA sees more and more corporate sponsors withdrawing support of the group, and sees more and more grass-roots, non-discriminatory alterna-scout troops forming, I hope they’ll see that their policy is disgusting, hateful, wrong, and definitely not a character trait worthy of anyone in the 21st century.

I had hoped that Pack 442 would follow in the footsteps of scouts in Sebastopol, California, who lost their charter for refusing to drop a similar statement, but as of this past Saturday, Pack 442 dropped the statement from their website and has gone back to goose-stepping along with hatred.

According to NBC News this morning, the Boy Scouts of America [BSA] is actively considering an end to its decades-long policy of banning gay scouts or scout leaders. If adopted by the BSA board of directors, it would represent a profound change on an issue that has been highly controversial.

The new policy would eliminate the ban from the national organization’s rules, leaving local sponsoring organizations free to decide for themselves whether to admit gay scouts. Deron Smith, a spokesman for the BSA, says, “The chartered organizations that oversee and deliver scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with their organization’s mission, principles or religious beliefs [but individual sponsors and parents] would be able to choose a local unit which best meets the needs of their families.”

Sounds good, though my guess is that the BSA hopes their individual groups maintain their anti-gay policies.

Still, maybe now Pack 442 could restate their intent to be a gay-friendly troop on their website, and maybe others will follow suit, and maybe, after decades the BSA will actually be able to say they are teaching real character.

Another Day, Another Case Of Catholic Hypocrisy

Jeremy Stodghill, at the grave of his wife and sons

I sometimes think if you look up the word 'hypocrisy' in the dictionary, it will say, see: Catholic Church. I mean, we always hear the Pope and his minions talk about working for the poor while they sit on golden thrones in palaces and order Prada loafers by the crate. We hear them talk about protecting children, and then read about how they really protect pedophiles. They say they care for the sick, but don't believe in condoms as an HIV preventative.

Hypocrisy. But the Church took another giant leap in hypocrisy recently in the case of Lori Stodghill.

See, back in January 2006, Lori Stodghill was seven-months pregnant with twin boys and not feeling so good. She went to St. Thomas More hospital in Cañon City, Colorado, and was vomiting and short of breath; she passed out as she was being wheeled into an examination room. Medical staff did try and resuscitate her but, they later found out, a main artery feeding her lungs was clogged, and that caused Lori Stodghill to suffer a massive heart attack. Lori’s obstetrician, Dr. Pelham Staples, who happened to be the emergency on-call obstetrician that night, never answered a page and Lori Stodghill died at the hospital less than an hour after she arrived.

Her sons died in her womb.

Lori Stodghill’s husband Jeremy filed a wrongful-death lawsuit on behalf of himself and his now mother-less two-year-old daughter Elizabeth. His lawyers argued that Dr. Staples should have made it to the hospital that night or, at the very least, instructed emergency room staff to perform a Caesarean-section to save Lori's sons.

The lead defendant in the case is Catholic Health Initiatives, a nonprofit that runs St. Thomas More Hospital, along with 170 other health facilities. Catholic Health Initiatives’ mission is to “nurture the healing ministry of the Church” and to be guided by “fidelity to the Gospel.” 

In that regard, Catholic Health facilities says it follows the Ethical and Religious Directives of the Catholic Church. In fact, its directive plainly states: “Catholic health care ministry witnesses to the sanctity of life ‘from the moment of conception until death. The Church’s defense of life encompasses the unborn.”

So, where's the hypocrisy? Is it that the hospital chose not to do a C-section to save Lori Stodghill's sons?

Not really, See, when it came to mounting a defense in the Stodghill case, Catholic Health Initiatives' lawyers have basically disavowed the Church directives by arguing state law protects doctors from liability concerning unborn fetuses on grounds that those fetuses are not persons with legal rights.

Yes, the Catholic Health Initiatives, which bases its whole mission on the precepts of the Catholic Church, is claiming that the fetuses were not people; at least in the case of a lawsuit regarding the death of a woman and her unborn children.

I guess fetuses are people when women seek abortions, but fetuses aren't people if they're deaths will cost the Catholic Church any kind of monetary payout in a lawsuit. And, you can argue that this isn’t the Catholic Church, but, let's be clear, Catholic health initiatives bases its entire operation on the teachings and the principles of Catholicism. Unless it costs them money from the Pope’s shoe budget.

Like I said, Catholic = Hypocrite.

Look it up.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Repost: Today's Birthdays .... Then The Sunday Funnies

Alan Cumming; actor, director, author, out gay man
Keith Olbermann; journalist 
Mikhail Baryshnikov; ballet dancer 
Troy Donahue; actor, out gay man
Bobby Bland; musician 
Donna Reed; actress
Jerome Kern; Broadway composer
Lewis Carroll; author
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; composer
Bob; blogger, snark expert, out gay man.
Such illustrious company in which I find myself....

And now, The Sunday Funnies.....