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Archives, 2005 Oct. 11

Wednesday November 2, 2005

So Just Who Do You Think You’re Kidding Anyway…?

We recently reviewed your account, and we suspect an unauthorized ATM based transaction on your account. Therefore as a preventive measure we have temporary limited your access to sensitive Bank of Oklahoma features.

To ensure that your account is not compromised please login to Bank of Oklahoma Internet Banking and Investing by clicking this link, verify your identify and your online accounts will be reactivated by our system.

Why…how very thoughtful you are!

Except…erm…well…I don’t have a Bank of Oklahoma account…

Let’s take a closer look at that link…

onlinebanking.bankofoklahoma.1bok.com

Ummm… onlinebanking.bankofoklahoma. Sounds pretty offical to me. Only what the fuck is going on with that 1bok.com thing?

> whois 1bok.com

Domain Name.......... 1bok.com
Creation Date........ 2005-11-01
Registration Date.... 2005-11-01
Expiry Date.......... 2006-11-01
Organisation Name.... Victoria Champion
Organisation Address. P O Box 99800
Organisation Address.
Organisation Address. EmeryVille
Organisation Address. 94662
Organisation Address. CA
Organisation Address. US

Admin Name........... PrivateRegContact Admin
Admin Address........ P O Box 99800
Admin Address........
Admin Address........ EmeryVille
Admin Address........ 94662
Admin Address........ CA
Admin Address........ US
Admin Email.......... contact@myprivateregistration.com
Admin Phone.......... +1.5105952002
Admin Fax............

Tech Name............ PrivateRegContact TECH
Tech Address......... P O Box 99800
Tech Address.........
Tech Address......... EmeryVille
Tech Address......... 94662
Tech Address......... CA
Tech Address......... US
Tech Email........... contact@myprivateregistration.com
Tech Phone........... +1.5105952002
Tech Fax.............
Name Server.......... yns1.yahoo.com
Name Server.......... yns2.yahoo.com

Mmmmm….

> nslookup 1bok.com

Non-authoritative answer:
Name: 1bok.com
Addresses: 68.142.234.50, 68.142.234.51, 68.142.234.52, 68.142.234.53 68.142.234.54, 68.142.234.60

Mmmmm….

> whois 68.142.234.50

OrgName: Inktomi Corporation
OrgID: INKT
Address: 701 First Ave
City: Sunnyvale
StateProv: CA
PostalCode: 94089
Country: US

NetRange: 68.142.192.0 - 68.142.255.255
CIDR: 68.142.192.0/18
NetName: INKTOMI-BLK-4
NetHandle: NET-68-142-192-0-1
Parent: NET-68-0-0-0-0
NetType: Direct Allocation
NameServer: NS1.YAHOO.COM
NameServer: NS2.YAHOO.COM
NameServer: NS3.YAHOO.COM
NameServer: NS4.YAHOO.COM
NameServer: NS5.YAHOO.COM
Comment:
RegDate: 2004-03-24
Updated: 2005-08-26
RAbuseHandle: NETWO857-ARIN
RAbuseName: Network Abuse
RAbusePhone: +1-408-349-3300
RAbuseEmail: network-abuse@cc.yahoo-inc.com

OrgAbuseHandle: NETWO857-ARIN
OrgAbuseName: Network Abuse
OrgAbusePhone: +1-408-349-3300
OrgAbuseEmail: network-abuse@cc.yahoo-inc.com

OrgTechHandle: NA258-ARIN

Okay…that explains the Yahoo name servers. A little more googling turns up a home page for Inktomi Corporation, which seems to be under construction, but which has this interesting copyright notice on it:

Copyright © 1996-2004 Inktomi, a Yahoo! company. All Rights Reserved.

So…okay…I get it…the Bank of Oklahoma is using this person in Emeryville California with a P.O. Box and a domain that they just bought yesterday from myprivateregistration.com, (which is run by Melbourne IT Ltd, a global domain name registrar) and which they’re hosting on Yahoo, to maintain their corporate eBanking site. Right.

Some further web searching turned up a Victoria Champion in Ukiah, CA, which is not all that far from Emeryville, which is not all that far from Sunnyvale. But you just know that whoever is doing this didn’t use their real name. It could be somebody with a grudge against poor Victoria, or someone who just pulled her name from a local phone book. And just because their domain registry info says they’re in Emeryville, or California, or the USA, doesn’t mean they actually are.

I sent some email to the Bank of Oklahoma. By now they’ve probably already been alerted to the phishing scheme by others. In a just world whoever it was would wake up in the middle of the night tonight to some very scary hollow laughter, and a chillingly cold voice saying, The weed of crime bears bitter fruit… Crime does not pay…

by Bruce Garrett | Link |

Uhm…yeah…

So…like…now you all know why I’ve been so silent here lately, and the cartoon page has gone so out of date…

by Bruce Garrett | Link |

A Closed Minded Self Centered Bore

So I’m reading about the gay bashings in the news recently, and I come across this cheerful little item about what the Methodist Church did to its gay and lesbian members. Not being satisfied to defrock a lesbian priest, the highest court in the Methodist Church voided the other day, a declaration by Methodists in the Pacific Northwest that there was a “difference of opinion among faithful Christians regarding sexual orientation and practice”, and since that wasn’t enough, reinstated another priest who’d told a gay man he couldn’t be a member of the church. This mind you, is the church that says to the rest of the world that gay people are “persons of sacred worth,” and claims repeatedly that it is open to us.

What a crock. But what you have to understand about that “persons of sacred worth” claptrap is that it’s for the consumption of other heterosexuals who want to be reassured that spitting in their neighbor’s face doesn’t make them gutter a crawling bigot. When they say that gay and lesbian people are “persons of sacred worth” they’re not saying it to gay and lesbian people. They’re saying it to each other. Usually while they’re busy kicking some gay member of the congregation in the teeth.

And I’m reading all this and getting pissed, and thinking to myself because of things that have happened to me recently that sure, strangers can beat the crap out of you, they can take your life away from you, but only family and friends can chew your heart up and spit it back out again.

Sometimes we pull lightly on those relationships in our lives. Sometimes because we’re fond of them, and we don’t want to push them any further then they’re ready to go just yet. Sometimes because we’re afraid. We pull back into a kind of zone of comfort, where they don’t have to be annoyed at any display of openness on our part, and we don’t have to deal with the fact that they’re still not fucking over it.

It is a mistake. Particularly if you’re a fifty-two year old gay man with friends who you’ve been seeing for better then thirty-three of those years, and some of them still don’t like it when your conversation touches for very long on anything having to do with your sexual orientation. You think you’re giving them time to deal with it in their own way, at their own speed. You think because they’re your friends that you have a special obligation to cut them a break. It is a mistake. All you’re doing, is teaching them that you accept being treated differently as your lot in life. In exchange for your cooperation, they can call themselves decent, progressive, fair and tolerant individuals, and you can become the ‘some’ in some of my best friends are…

So a friend comes up to Baltimore a few days ago, someone I very seldom see anymore, who has been in my life for decades. And as I’m proudly showing off my coming out series artwork, and the cartoon Howard Cruse drew for me, he gets all perturbed and annoyed and decides he has to leave. And as he’s leaving he gives me a little spot lecture on how if I want to make more friends and meet more people (my life here in Baltimore is way, way too solitary for my own good…), I have to be careful not to bring up things that might disturb them.

In the past I’d have just retreated back into the comfort zone. But George Bush got re-elected on the most vicious anti-gay presidential campaign ever waged. States all over the union are writing gay and lesbian citizens into second class citizenship. There is an amendment on the table on Capital Hill to do the same to the U.S. constitution. And last July I watched while a sixteen year old gay kid was emotionally brutalized by his own parents just for being honest with them about himself. And since then I’ve seen one horror story after another about kids being forced into ex-gay soul grinders, heard one tale after another from grown men and women who had voluntarily checked themselves in to be de-gayed, accepting in their bones that their sexual orientation was something wrong with them that needed fixing, was the root cause of everything else that was wrong in their lives, watched while the religious right pours millions into these and other groups seeking to radicalize every mainstream church in the world against gay and lesbian people, teach everyone to hate us, teach us to hate ourselves…and for some odd reason I’m in no mood for retreat.

As is my wont I fume for a few hours and fire off an email. He sends me one back, which includes many fine friend to friend tips pointing out the benefits of the closet and why I should consider it. Perhaps not as a lifestyle choice, but more of a necessity for getting along with others. And now I’m furious. I fume for days, then fire off another email. He fires two back at me, telling me in one that I’ve become a closed minded self-centered bore.

Well that explains it.

I spent weeks stressing out over the fate of a gay teen who’d been sent to an ex-gay camp, so badly I literally could not sleep for days…got more deeply involved in the fight against these ex gay outfits then I’d ever thought I would, donated money I could surely have spent on shiny new techno trinkets for myself…spent eight-hundred dollars for air tickets and dragged myself through twice as much miserable air travel as I needed to for a week and a half of last July and August, just so I could stand in a protest line in Memphis because I couldn’t get the image I’d read from someone who was there and saw it, of four young guys being frog marched around that ex-gay camp like they were prisoners in a Soviet work camp, out of my mind. And I’m a closed minded self centered bore.

No Stu, I’m not…but maybe you could teach me how to become one, because then I wouldn’t have to give a good goddamn about anything and anyone else but me, just like our president, and I could stop reading the news about Iraq and how many young American soldiers died today, because I’m not in the army. And I could care less about the rebuilding of New Orleans because I live in Baltimore. And I wouldn’t have to care about whether Roe v. Wade will be overturned, because I’m a man. And I wouldn’t care how many same sex marriages might be nullified if the FMA passes, because I’m single, or give a flying fuck what the Methodists or the Anglicans or the Catholics do to the gay people sitting next to them in the pews, because I don’t go to church, or how many more helpless gay kids are going to be shoveled into ex-gay camps to have their souls gutted from them, because I’m an adult and nobody can force me into one of those places if I don’t want to go. I wouldn’t have to give a rat’s ass about anyone but myself. and I might be able to sleep at night.

But that isn’t it, is it? No, I’m a closed minded self centered bore because I’ve become disinclined to soft peddle my sexual orientation around people who might be offended by it. Fucking deal with it. Because while I’m busy soft peddling the reality of my life to friends who after thirty plus years are still jittery about my homosexuality, my little zone of comfort is helping to make places like Love In Action possible. I help put money in John Smid’s pocket every fucking time I let myself soft peddle my sexual orientation, because I’m telling people that even I don’t consider myself worthy of fair and equal treatment by my neighbors. I give people an excuse to look the other way and still think of themselves as decent human beings, while innocent people have their lives and their hearts ripped to shreds. All these years while I’ve been trying to cut you a break, give you some space to deal with it at your own speed, all I’ve been doing is excusing the homophobic jitters of people who knew me. If I can’t ask for better then that from my friends, how the hell am I supposed to expect it from my community, from my fellow countrymen? Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on the Log Cabin republicans in the future.

In Memphis we stood silently in front of Love In Action one Saturday morning, heads bowed, saying nothing, in remembrance of all the kids who have been forced into that miserable soul grinder, and all those who will still someday have to endure it. I stood for only an hour, like those kids are forced to for three days, heads bowed, looking at no one, saying nothing. And for me it was a kind of penance, for all those times when I should have spoken up, and instead kept my mouth shut, and allowed another moment when the people around me would have had to look at what they were doing to me to pass on by, with their cheapshit discomforts unchallenged.

Some gay kids should have it so lucky. Maybe if more of us from my generation had been a bit more insistant back when we were that age, that heterosexuals just get the fuck over it some kids today wouldn’t be crying their eyes out in these little ex-gay camps scattered all over The Land Of The Free And The Home Of The Brave. I’ve prided myself on my activism over the years. And yet where it might have counted the most, I was much too silent. I think a lot of gay people in my generation made those same kinds of compromises. And now George Bush is president. And now we live in an age where gay teens are much less likely to suffer the pains of guilt and self loathing many of us did at that age, and yet perversely are more of an open target for hate. And getting involved in the fight to protect them from that hate, means helplessly watching some of them getting eaten by it. But I shouldn’t give a good goddamn, right? Because I’m a closed minded self centered bore…

Chris…are you out there…? Hang in there guy. There are a lot of people outside that prison you’re in now, who love you just the way you are. There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re a good kid. It isn’t your fault. You deserve better then this. Being gay doesn’t mean you’ll grow up to be a drug or a sex addict, or a child molester. It doesn’t mean you’ll turn into someone who wants to have sex with animals. It doesn’t mean God hates you. You have the same right everyone else has to live a whole, decent life on your own terms, in your own way. Someday you’ll be free to do that. Chris…are you out there…? Hang in there. Be strong. It won’t be much longer. Your friends are all waiting for you. Your dreams are out there waiting for you. Someday, they’ll be yours.

The closet is an insidious evil cancer on our lives. And if all it did was drag us down that would be one thing. But it drags all of us down, and all of us for generations to come. It excuses hate. It allows hate to go on about its business eating the lives of innocent people, their ability to love and accept love from another, and all their hopes and all their dreams. Hate preys on the weakest and most vulnerable among us. And it gets permission to do that from every one of us who stay quietly in the comfort zone. When we quickly duck back into the closet from time to time, we give hate our permission to act.

I pray this blows over. I can't take this... noone can...

So…enough. People can no longer pick and choose among the parts of me they like and don’t like. Not strangers, not co-workers, and especially not the ones who keep telling me that they’re my friends, that I’m someone of sacred worth. Oh really?

Hey Stu…this song’s for you…

Every morning pressure forming
all around my eyes.
Ceilings crash, the walls collapse,
broken by the lies
that your misfortune brought upon us
and I won't disguise them.
So don't ask me will I explain
I won't even begin to tell you why.
No, just because I have a name
well I've got nothing to say.
Nothing to say.

Jethro Tull - "Nothing To Say"

by Bruce Garrett | Link |

Friday October 28, 2005

Coming Out

When he was eight years old and they finally released him from a Japanese internment camp, he’d spent half his life inside a barbed wire fence. Now at 68, George Takei comes out of another prison. But this little liberation he was allowed to do at his own pace, over the course of years. Just because the door is finally open, that doesn’t mean the prisoners all come rushing out at once. The barbed wire might, after all those years you spent living inside of it, be giving you a sense of security now.

People generally make their own way out of the closet, on their own terms, in their own good time. It’s very seldom a pop bang kind of thing. You drop hints. You stop concealing this and that. You step out gradually. Mr. Takei said in one news report I read that he’d considered himself out now for some years. But it’s one thing to be out to close friends and family, and another to make it public. Particularly if the spotlight is your trade. This was still a very brave act on his part. Especially now, with the republicans making gay people their scarecrow for votes. There are people in the heartland, who think the homos should all be rounded up and put somewhere away from decent people and children. Listen to the talk radio as you drive across America sometime.

As is my wont, I did it all backwards. I came out to the world in a bang, and slowly to family and friends. That is, I kept my head down around family, and my straight pals, dropping hints here and there, stepping a toe out of the closet when I felt they could handle it, but not really making much of a big deal about it, waiting for a time to come when they would be more comfortable with it, and I could be more open about my life with them, in the way I’ve been open with the world for decades now. For many of them, that time never came. Part of the reason why I’ve not posted here in days, is that I’m having a bit of an extended e-confrontation with one old friend over my degree of openness and his discomfort with it, and it’s tearing me apart.

More bleeding to come. Much more. Sorry. But this is my venting space…and there are things that need saying.

by Bruce Garrett | Link |

Wednesday November 2, 2005

A Closed Minded Self Centered Bore

So I’m reading about the gay bashings in the news recently, and I come across this cheerful little item about what the Methodist Church did to its gay and lesbian members. Not being satisfied to defrock a lesbian priest, the highest court in the Methodist Church voided the other day, a declaration by Methodists in the Pacific Northwest that there was a “difference of opinion among faithful Christians regarding sexual orientation and practice”, and since that wasn’t enough, reinstated another priest who’d told a gay man he couldn’t be a member of the church. This mind you, is the church that says to the rest of the world that gay people are “persons of sacred worth,” and claims repeatedly that it is open to us

What a crock. But what you have to understand that “persons of sacred worth” claptrap is that it’s for the consumption of other heterosexuals who want to be reassured that spitting in their neighbor’s face doesn’t make them gutter a crawling bigot. When they say that gay and lesbian people are “persons of sacred worth” they’re not saying it to gay and lesbian people. They’re saying it to each other. Usually while they’re busy kicking some gay member of the congregation in the teeth.

And I’m reading all this and getting pissed, and thinking to myself because of things that have happened to me recently that sure, strangers can beat the crap out of you, they can take your life away from you, but only family and friends can chew your heart up and spit it back out again.

Sometimes we pull lightly on those relationships in our lives. Sometimes because we’re fond of them, and we don’t want to push them any further then they’re ready to go just yet. Sometimes because we’re afraid. We pull back into a kind of zone of comfort, where they don’t have to be annoyed at any display of openness on our part, and we don’t have to deal with the fact that they’re still not fucking over it.

It is a mistake. Particularly if you’re a fifty-two year old gay man with friends who you’ve been seeing for better then thirty-three of those years, and some of them still don’t like it when your conversation touches for very long on anything having to do with your sexual orientation. You think you’re giving them time to deal with it in their own way, at their own speed. You think because they’re your friends that you have a special obligation to cut them a break. It is a mistake. All you’re doing, is teaching them that you accept being treated differently as your lot in life. In exchange for your cooperation, they can call themselves decent, progressive, fair and tolerant individuals, and you can become the ‘some’ in some of my best friends are…

So a friend comes up to Baltimore a few days ago, someone I very seldom see anymore, who has been in my life for decades. And as I’m proudly showing off my coming out series artwork, and the cartoon Howard Cruse drew for me, he gets all perturbed and annoyed and decides he has to leave. And as he’s leaving he gives me a little spot lecture on how if I want to make more friends and meet more people (my life here in Baltimore is way, way too solitary for my own good…), I have to be careful not to bring up things that might disturb them.

In the past I’d have just retreated back into the comfort zone. But George Bush got re-elected on the most vicious anti-gay presidential campaign ever waged. States all over the union are writing gay and lesbian citizens into second class citizenship. There is an amendment on the table on Capital Hill to do the same to the U.S. constitution. And last July I watched while a sixteen year old gay kid was emotionally brutalized by his own parents just for being honest with them about himself. And since then I’ve seen one horror story after another about kids being forced into ex-gay soul grinders, heard one tale after another from grown men and women who had voluntarily checked themselves in to be de-gayed, accepting in their bones that their sexual orientation was something wrong with them that needed fixing, was the root cause of everything else that was wrong in their lives, watched while the religious right pours millions into these and other groups seeking to radicalize every mainstream church in the world against gay and lesbian people, teach everyone to hate us, teach us to hate ourselves…and for some odd reason I’m in no mood for retreat.

As is my wont I fume for a few hours and fire off an email. He sends me one back, which includes many fine friend to friend tips pointing out the benefits of the closet and why I should consider it. Perhaps not as a lifestyle choice, but more of a necessity for getting along with others. And now I’m furious. I fume for days, then fire off another email. He fires two back at me, telling me in one that I’ve become a closed minded self-centered bore.

Well that explains it.

I spent weeks stressing out over the fate of a gay teen who’d been sent to an ex-gay camp, so badly I literally could not sleep for days…got more deeply involved in the fight against these ex gay outfits then I’d ever thought I would, donated money I could surely have spent on shiny new techno trinkets for myself…spent eight-hundred dollars for air tickets and dragged myself through twice as much miserable air travel as I needed to for a week and a half of last July and August, just so I could stand in a protest line in Memphis because I couldn’t get the image I’d read from someone who was there and saw it, of four young guys being frog marched around that ex-gay camp like they were prisoners in a Soviet work camp, out of my mind. And I’m a closed minded self centered bore.

No Stu, I’m not…but maybe you could teach me how to become one, because then I wouldn’t have to give a good goddamn about anything and anyone else but me, just like our president, and I could stop reading the news about Iraq and how many young American soldiers died today, and I could care less about the rebuilding of New Orleans, and whether Roe v. Wade will be overturned, and how many same sex marriages might be nullified if the FMA passes, and I wouldn’t have to give a flying fuck what the Methodists or the Anglicans or the Catholics do to the gay people sitting next to them in the pews, or how many more helpless gay kids are going to be shoveled into ex-gay camps to have their souls gutted from them, and I might be able to sleep at night.

No…I’m a closed minded self centered bore because I’ve become disinclined to soft peddle my sexual orientation around people who might be offended by it. Fucking deal with it. Because while I’m busy soft peddling the reality of my life to friends who after thirty plus years are still jittery about my homosexuality, my little zone of comfort is helping to make places like Love In Action possible. I help put money in John Smid’s pocket every fucking time I let myself soft peddle my sexual orientation, because I’m telling people that even I don’t consider myself worthy of fair and equal treatment by my neighbors. I give people an excuse to look the other way and still think of themselves as decent human beings, while innocent people have their lives and their hearts ripped to shreds. All these years while I’ve been trying to cut you a break, give you some space to deal with it at your own speed, all I’ve been doing is excusing the homophobic jitters of people who knew me. If I can’t ask for better then that from my friends, how the hell am I supposed to expect it from my community, from my fellow countrymen? Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on the Log Cabin republicans in the future.

In Memphis we stood silently in front of Love In Action one Saturday morning, heads bowed, saying nothing, in remembrance of all the kids who have been forced into that miserable soul grinder, and all those who will still someday have to endure it. I stood for only an hour, like those kids are forced to for three days, heads bowed, looking at no one, saying nothing. And for me it was a kind of penance, for all those times when I should have spoken up, and instead kept my mouth shut, and allowed another moment when the people around me would have had to look at what they were doing to me to pass on by with their cheapshit discomforts unchallenged.

Some gay kids should have it so lucky. Maybe if more of us from my generation had been a bit more insistant back when we were that age, that heterosexuals just get the fuck over it some kids today wouldn’t be crying their eyes out in these little ex-gay camps scattered all over The Land Of The Free And The Home Of The Brave. I’ve prided myself on my activism over the years. And yet where it might have counted the most, I was much too silent. I think a lot of gay people in my generation made those same kinds of compromises. And now George Bush is president. And now we live in an age where gay teens are much less likely to suffer the pains of guilt and self loathing many of us did at that age, and yet perversely more of an open target for hate. And getting involved in the fight to protect them from that hate, means helplessly watching some of them getting eaten by it. But I shouldn’t give a good goddamn, right? Because I’m a closed minded self centered bore…

Chris…are you out there…? Hang in there guy. There are a lot of people outside that prison you’re in now, who love you just the way you are. There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re a good kid. It isn’t your fault. You deserve better then this. Being gay doesn’t mean you’ll grow up to be a drug or a sex addict, or a child molester. It doesn’t mean you’ll turn into someone who wants to have sex with animals. It doesn’t mean God hates you. You have the same right everyone else has to live a whole, decent life on your own terms, in your own way. Someday you’ll be free to do that. Chris…are you out there…? Hang in there. Be strong. It won’t be much longer. Your friends are all waiting for you. Your dreams are out there waiting for you. Someday, they’ll be yours.

The closet is an insidious evil cancer on our lives. And if all it did was drag us down that would be one thing. But it drags all of us down, and all of us for generations to come. It excuses hate. It allows hate to go on about its business eating the lives of innocent people, their ability to love and accept love from another, and all their hopes and all their dreams. Hate preys on the weakest and most vulnerable among us. And it gets permission to do that from every one of us who stay quietly in the comfort zone. When we quickly duck back into the comfort zone from time to time, we give hate our permission to act.

I pray this blows over. I can't take this... noone can...

So…enough. People can no longer pick and choose among the parts of me they like and don’t like. Not strangers, not co-workers, and especially not the ones who keep telling me that they’re my friends, that I’m someone of sacred worth. Oh really?

Hey Stu…this song’s for you…

Every morning pressure forming
all around my eyes.
Ceilings crash, the walls collapse,
broken by the lies
that your misfortune brought upon us
and I won't disguise them.
So don't ask me will I explain
I won't even begin to tell you why.
No, just because I have a name
well I've got nothing to say.
Nothing to say.

Jethro Tull - "Nothing To Say"

by Bruce Garrett | Link |

Wednesday October 26, 2005

Lite Posting

Sorry about the lite posting here recently…I’ve been a tad ill here at Casa del Garrett, and I’m just now getting over it. Will post more later.

Monday October 24, 2005

Now About That Commuter Tax…

Well this certainly explains why rush hour on the Capital Beltway is such a friggin nightmare

The U.S. Census Bureau has released its first ever report highlighting the differences between the residential populations of various towns and the numbers of people present during the work day. "The concept of the daytime population," says the report, "refers to the number of people, including workers, who are present in an area during normal business hours, in contrast to the resident population present during the evening and nighttime hours."

Among cities of a half million or more, Washington shows the largest net increase in daytime population. The stream of government and other workers that flows into Washington D.C. from all over northern Virginia and Maryland swells the District's population by 71.8 percent.

(Emphasis mine…) The next biggest figure on the list was 41.1 percent for Boston. This is why I-270, which was a simple four lane with a grassy median interstate highway when I was a kid, has become a twelve lane monster, and it still isn’t big enough.

And people let the hours of their lives fritter away in this daily two way traffic nightmare because…why? Well, D.C. has no real representation in congress, but on the other hand who votes nowadays anyway, except political junkies and the religious right. D.C. has lots of housing, and yeah, it’s expensive as all hell, but the cost of housing in the D.C. suburbs is beyond belief. So why don’t people want to live in D.C., rather then sit for hours every week in beltway traffic? Too much crime, I hear them say. Oh…and too many negroes. Well…they don’t put it exactly that way…

The nightmare commute. The rising price of gasoline. Sure, it’s nicer to live in the quiet suburbs. Except they’re not nearly as quiet in the year 2005 as they were in the 1950s when we started building them. Sure having lots of open green space is nicer then block after block of hot muggy city pavement. Except the green is rapidly disappearing in the suburbs now too, as the value of land there skyrockets. Rockville today is not the sleepy little suburb it was when I was a teenager, but a jam packed land developer’s riot and you still have to drive to get to anything. In the city it’s nice to be able to walk to everything you need on a daily basis. A brisk walk to work is nice. A stroll to the grocery store is nice. Dinner at a good restaurant you can walk to is nice. The nightmare commute, and the rising price of gasoline seem to be the only advantages left to living in the suburbs. Oh…and not too many negroes. What would our lives be like if race didn’t matter all that much?

by Bruce Garrett | Link |

Thursday October 20, 2005

A Little Fuzzy On The Meaning Of The Word ‘Progressive’

Apparently one of the “Progressive” hosts on Memphis “Progressive” talk radio AM 680 has gone on a little jihad against the gay community

Homosexuality is Genocide

At least, that's what Leon Gray just said.

First of all, Leon, let me correct your miserably unfortunate choice of words. What I think you you meant to say was "homosexuality [leads to] extinction." Genocide is murder. If the human race came to an end because everyone was homosexual, then the end of humanity would have come about without one hand being raised against another's head. Genocide is what happened in Rwanda. Genocide is what happened in Yugoslavia. Genocide is what happened in Nazi Germany. Genocide is not what happens when gay people make love to one another.

For those of you who did not hear today's Leon Gray show, and therefore have no idea what I'm talking about, then tune in to Progressive Talk 680 during the commercial breaks on the hour for the latest "Gray Matter" commentary, where you will hear Memphis' own so-called progressive talk show host engage in sexual bigotry of the highest order. If you don't want to tune in, you can read the commentary on the WWTQ blog here. On today's show, however, Leon expounded on this topic at length, and said some of the most ignorant things I have ever heard anyone say about gay people.

Go read the rest at The Pesky Fly, where autoegocrat does a little first rate pulpit thumping. You can read and comment on Leon Grey’s post at the WWTQ blog, where he says the following:

We defend the rights of the KKK to march, rally and spew hatred in the streets, it's that first amendment thing, which now-a-days gives folks the right to do wrong... talk about an oxymoron!

I will now cut my own throat... Gays and Lesbians wanted feel free to flaunt their sexuality, excuse me their sexual orientation, which without any doubt is a personal choice, and now have managed to force society to see it their way (meaning that their right)... or at least act like it.

It’s not a throat Leon, if it doesn’t have a head attached to it. Genocide isn’t what happens when you respect your neighbor’s differences. Genocide is what happens when people incite hate over those differences. People like…oh…you.

by Bruce Garrett | Link |

Return Of The Question

I get it now… I’ve been dreaming that the past three decades happened…they really didn’t…it was all just a dream…and I’ve just woken up again back in 1974

Patrick Fitzgerald interviewed President Bush (at least, he was interviewed by his team; I don't remember whether it was Fitzgerald specifically who conducted it, though I would assume it was). The president's lawyers succeeded in getting Fitzgerald to agree that the interview not be under oath. Still, though, an interview took place and at the top of the list of questions must have been just what happened and what the president knew.

Did President Bush say that he knew Rove was involved? Did he deny it?

Obviously, we have many more questions than answers here. But if President Bush knew about Rove's role from the beginning, then all of these interviews and grand jury appearances and the almost inevitable contradictions between them become real trouble for the White House.

What did the president know, and when did he know it? Sweet Jesus…almost looks like Nixon’s really going down this time doesn’t it?

by Bruce Garrett | Link |

Wednesday October 19, 2005

I’m Not Gay!

Homophobic bullying and violence in school…it isn’t just for the gay kids you know…

Platte Valley cheerleader quits squad over taunts

An award-winning male cheerleader quit the Platte Valley High School squad last week because he could no longer endure constant teasing about his sexuality.

The final straw for Cole Graves was a team picture posted on the Kersey school's Web site with the words "I'M GAY" underneath the two male cheerleaders.

"It's been going on for three or four months now," said the 17-year-old junior. "Now it's posted on the picture on the Internet."

Superintendent Glen McClain was notified of the Web site photo on Monday.

"This is the first time I've seen it," he said. "We don't condone this type of behavior, and I will look into it."

...

"As soon as we found it, I had the picture pulled," McClain said. "We were able to identify the person responsible for it, and we will take appropriate action. We've contacted the parent with an apology."

Not that there’s anything wrong with the learning environment at Platte Valley, you understand…

Although there aren't any immediate plans for a change in policy, McClain said they'll take a look to see if anything needs to be followed up.

Ya think? The parents of the kid in question were typically helpful…

Cole's mother, Kim Albreicht, said about a week ago her son was coming home saying people were calling him names and were starting fights with him because he was a cheerleader.

"I just told him to blow it off. They're just jealous," she said. "I did what every mom would do."

…with the results you might expect.

The teasing continued, so he decided to quit the squad. Cole said slurs of being homosexual and harsher words have gotten out of hand that the cheerleaders on the team he once represented are calling him names because he quit the squad. And on Friday, the bullying took a turn for the worse.

"After I got out of wrestling practice, four guys were waiting on the corner to beat me up because they said I was gay," Cole said.

Dig it. Kid starts getting taunted about being gay. Kid complains to adults. Adults do nothing. Taunting escalates. Adults still do nothing. Then the threats of violence start happening. All because of his sexual orientation. Well…no…

"I'm not gay."

Cole said when he first started to get teased, he notified cheer squad coaches, who said they would take care of it. After no results, he said he notified the athletic director, Steve Morgan, who said he would take care of it.

Albreicht said a meeting is planned today with the high school principal to discuss the issue.

Well that’s sure to produce results.

Crap like this doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It happens when bullies know the adults around them have the same contempt for their targets that they do. They were told they could torment their gay kids by parents, by teachers, by politicians, by their ministers. They were told this, by the contempt with which those adults in their lives held homosexual people.

And sure enough, when they started to attack a peer they believed to be gay, the adults around them looked the other way. So unsurprisingly, it kept getting worse. They had permission. Until it made the newspapers.

The Denver Post is reporting that the kid who posted the altered team picture has been given a one week suspension. No word yet about the four guys who were waiting to beat their classmate up. Did they really think he was gay? Or did they just not care, so long as they had permission?

And in school systems around the nation, self righteous religious conservatives are fighting tooth and nail to prevent schools from addressing homophobic violence, so long as it means gay and lesbian youth must be treated with dignity and respect. But Cole Graves was not gay. Programs that address homophobic bullying protect all kids, just as hate crime laws protect all citizens. And that’s the problem. A social contract where everyone is treated equally is anathema to someone who thinks the heathens have no rights they are bound to respect. The religious right isn’t just attacking the right of gay kids to be safe in school…they don’t want anyone’s kids to be safe in school…from their kids, or from them.

People who think these issues only affect the families of gay kids need to think again. One day it could be their own kids who’ve been chased away from a loved school activity because of antigay bullying. One day it could be their own kids who come home broken and bruised from school, or from the hospital. First they came for the gay kids, and I said nothing because my kids are not homosexual. Then they came for my kid…

by Bruce Garrett | Link |

Tuesday October 18, 2005

Bear With Me…

I’m still pondering on what I experienced over the weekend, so I need some more time before I write about Peterson Toscano’s performances. Soon though.

Leadership

Steve Gilliard makes a sharp observation about leadership…

Oliver Willis posted this

I think it's past time for there to be a changing of the guard in black leadership in America. People like Farrakhan, Sharpton and Jackson are no better than hustlers, bigots, and crooks. There are hundreds of black leaders who believe in improving the lives of black Americans, and America in general, but the media keeps giving time to the Axis of Irrelevancy.

It's time that stopped.

Dear Oliver,

There is a simple reason people still respect these folks, and I'm surprised it eludes you.

They actually speak out.

Now, it may please your friends to deride these people, but the reality is that when the NYPD shoots black people, it's Al Sharpton who is in the street and working with the community. Not our elected officials, who veer away from these issues like it was a bird flu infected Indonesian market. These people have power, not because you or I like or agree with it, but because the majority of fellow African Americans feel they represent their views.

The Millions More march could only happen under the aegis of a Farrakhan, despite the fact that the vast majority of black people disagree with his views, because he is supremely organized and disciplined. And people respect his uncompromising stands, even if they are unimpressed with Nation of Islam dogma.

When people ask Rev. Jackson for help, he comes. Whether it's North Carolina or New Orleans. He doesn't have to poisition himself or deal with the Democratic leadership.

Where are these hundreds of black leaders? When do they show up? When black children are shot by the police, you don't see Barack Obama with the family, do you? For all the attacks on Sharpton, when people have real crises, he's there. These so-called leaders are not. They seem to be afraid of their own shadows.

You do not gain respect with speeches. You have to confront the system...

It’s something I’ve observed about the internal dialogue in the gay community. You have all these middle class and upper middle class gay folks bemoaning the fact that gay radicals and militants and flamboyant queers seem to be the only spokespeople for our community, and yet when push comes to shove, who is it that takes to the streets and raises hell? The radicals, the militants, and the flamboyant queers. It was like that at Stonewall, and mostly it’s still like that.

Yes…a good many gays and lesbians do a lot of hard work for our community quietly, and behind the scenes, and within the system. But you can’t complain that the only people who are getting media attention, are the only ones making noise and trying hard to get attention. You can’t complain that they’re the ones heterosexuals think of most often as representing us, when they’re the ones they most often see when gay issues rise to the surface of popular consciousness. Activists get called activists because they’re…well…active…

by Bruce Garrett | Link |

Those Wacky Heterosexuals…(continued)

Just imagine if this magazine had been targeted at gay youth

A racy new magazine that gives boys sex tips and encourages them to drink beer has been criticised by parent and family groups.

Explode is a new monthly magazine aimed at boys aged between 12 and 17.

It features pages of scantily-clad women, a regular monthly picture spread titled "Your mate's big sister of the month" and a raunchy "sealed section" with sex tips and stories.

A media release sent by publisher Pacific Magazines on the eve of the magazine's launch on Wednesday described it as a "fresh, bold and edgy" publication aimed at boys from 12 to 17.

...

A story in the magazine's "sealed section" features a diagram of the female body with arrows pointing out the eight most sensitive areas.

Another article teaches readers how to undo a bra using one hand.

Not sure what the point of the sealed section would be? A glue that twelve year olds can’t get apart?

Look…I had my first sex when I was still a teenager and to this day I regard it as one of the most wonderful, life affirming moments of my life. But I’m older now, and I’ve heard from a lot of other people who didn’t have the experience I had, and I can understand how frightening it can be for adults to watch their kids walking through that stage in their lives. It scares me nowadays too. Love and sex, and the joy of discovering that perfect body and soul intimacy with someone you love is a wonderful thing, and making teens feel ashamed or dirty about it, and about themselves, is an evil thing. But for all those same reasons, trivializing and commercializing sex to them is an evil thing too. They don’t need hyped up edgy. They need serious. Bad things can happen. Things people carry with them all their their lives. They need guidence, not hype. They need to be loved by adults, and treated with care, not exploited.

And if adults who exploit teens for sex with money are one thing, what are adults who exploit teens for money with sex?

And…twelve year olds??? Geeze. Somebody needs to grow a brain here.

by Bruce Garrett | Link |

My First Haloscan Moment…

I’ve heard the grumblings often about Haloscan eating posts, or not letting people post, but haven’t experienced it myself until now, of course, after I’ve added the service to this blog. Just this morning I was trying to respond to a comment, and I kept getting random error messages, first that my browser (Firefox) was sending malformed requests to the Haloscan server, then when I tried to re-send, that I had made a duplicate post. Except the post I was trying to make never appeared.

I’ll keep an eye on it. I was able to successfully make the post using IE (which I’d rather not use for a whole host of reasons…), so I doubt I’m not getting the HTML calls to the Haloscan engine right. It’s probably some funky interaction between them and Firefox, which would be disappointing if true. Like I said, I’ll keep an eye on it. Meanwhile, if you have trouble posting comments…it isn’t you.

by Bruce Garrett | Link |

Monday October 17, 2005

This Week’s Cartoon

Since I’ve added comments here, I think I’ll start making a short post every Monday about the weekly cartoon here too, so you can voice an opinion if you want. This week’s cartoon was done in a cram late Sunday, partly since I spent a lot of time during the rest of the weekend with Peterson Toscano, and partly because the topic and the idea came to me late in the weekend. I only heard about the snub Willie Wilson gave to Keith Boykin at the Millions More March in Washington, late Friday, after seeing Peterson’s first show. I’d already decided to do a cartoon on another topic.

Steve Gilliard, and Pamindurham at KOS, have more.

This is so pointless. While Wilson is busy kicking his gay and lesbian neighbors in the teeth, the southern strategists of the republican party are laughing delightedly at another successful wedge campaign brought to fruition. Oh look…the negros are beating each other up… Of course, the gay community does this to itself a lot too

by Bruce Garrett | Link |

Weekend with Peterson Toscano

Peterson Toscano came to Baltimore last weekend, to perform several of his pieces as a benefit for That All May Freely Serve, a Presbyterian organization that works for inclusion of LGBT people in the elected offices of the Presbyterian church. He took time from his busy weekend to have lunch and dinner with me, and I had a great time chatting with him in conversations that strolled across a wide range of topics. Peterson is passionatly dedicated to his art, and to working for LGBT equality. He’s smart, kindhearted, and the kind of absolutely amazing actor only someone with a keen interest in people and their lives can become. Watching him move easily from one character to another during his show was jaw dropping. He did it so smoothly, and each character was a completely realized individual. I’ll post more about his performances later today (I have to get to work now…), but I want to thank him here for the great time I had watching his show, and talking with him throughout the weekend. He gave me a lot to think about.

(heh) Peterson is also why this blog has comments on it now. We were driving to Hampden for dinner and he asked why the blog didn’t have comments, and I began my little spiel about how I’m writing the HTML by hand with every post, and how I need to set aside some time I don’t have to figure out how to include comments, and how I’m such a control freak when it comes to my own site and the code in it that I’d probably want to code my own comment engine, and how that meant looking for some service to host my comments who would let me run perl or java servlets…and I realized that I’d given that spiel to a lot of other readers too. So later that evening I did a little digging around and ended up looking at Haloscan, and saw they had some pretty simple looking sample code for manually updated blogs like mine. So now we have comments.

It’s just an experiment right now though. So long as it keeps being a mostly fun thing the comments will stay. But let me say up front that my blog isn’t ever going to become a place for anti-gay bigots and other assorted louts to have their say. You want to rail against homosexuals, go do your own blog. This is my space. I won’t mind people arguing with me…I’m really not as angry a person as I sometimes seem here…and honest…I like being challenged (a word I’m going to cringe at using forever more now after watching Peterson’s Doin’ Time In The Homo No Mo Halfway House), because then I’ve learned something new. But I will reliably draw the line at what I see as hate. Feel free to chat here on the blog with me or with other readers. Tell me something I didn’t know before…Please…Do. And go ahead and give me a little hell too if you just gotta. Trust me, you can’t give me any more hell then I got from my Baptist grandmother while growing up. But go hate somewhere else.

I’ll write more about Peterson’s shows later. Promise. He gave me a lot to think about, and this is where I do some of my thinking out loud. In particular, and without giving too much away because I really want you to go see his shows when he comes to your neck of the woods, he has a bit in Doin’ Time about when Jesus came to Lazurus’ grave, that is just brilliant, and very, very thought provoking (and that is in performances full of thought provoking moments…).

by Bruce Garrett | Link |

Saturday October 15, 2005

Thank You!

I found a package at my doorstep yesterday when I got home from work. It was an item from my Amazon Wish List a reader from New Jersey, D.G. kindly bought for me. Thank you! It was the Retro Diner: Food from the American Roadside book, full of recipes from actual roadside diners of the period…food I remember from childhood, and still love eating today. I spent some time after opening it, getting hungry reading the recipes, and looking at the old pictures and diner art inside. I have a feeling it’s going to replace my Fanny Farmer’s as my primary cooking guide. Thank you!

Well This Comes As A Complete Surprise…

Ex-Gay Watch is looking for (other) patients who were told to lie to Spitzer

In one of my last therapy sessions with Joseph Nicolosi of NARTH he asked me to participate in a self-reporting study on ex-gays being conducted by a guy named Spitzer. At the time I believed my sessions with Nicolosi had given me the ability to continue living a healthy life and I would eventually function as a heterosexual. Nicolosi told me it would be great if I could represent the positive/success side of ex-gays in this study. Joseph Nicolosi asked me to lie to Spitzer when I called in for my study interview by denying Nicolosi had referred me. Turned off by this attempted manipulation, I never went through with taking part in the Spitzer study. If anyone else has been asked to lie for the Sptizer study by their therapist please contact me.

-Daniel S. Gonzales

There is no morality that exalts lies over truth. There is no ethics that teaches people to turn away from what is real, and embrace what is not. There is no righteousness that expects its own to bear false witness, to themselves or to others. But the bedrock of the ex gay ministries is a brittle sedimentary stone of lies built over lies, built over lies. To immerse yourself in the ex gay life isn’t to live in a world of righteousness, but a world suffocating in its own lies.

How does God make a gay man straight?

In 1997, John Smid, the ex-gay director of Love in Action, a homosexual conversion center located in Memphis, tried to explain this mystery to a Memphis Flyer reporter:

"I'm looking at that wall and suddenly I say it's blue," Smid said, pointing to a yellow wall. "Someone else comes along and says, 'No, it's gold.' But I want to believe that wall is blue. Then God comes along and He says, 'You're right, John, [that yellow wall] _is_ blue.' That's the help I need. God can help me make that [yellow] wall blue."

Chris Davis - The Memphis Flyer, June 17 2005

No. God will just keep telling you the wall is yellow. And all the devil can do for you is teach you how to say ‘blue’ convincingly. Except I don’t believe in the devil. The devil is just a way of excusing our own personal failures of character and spirit. Something people blame for their crimes, when they’re not busy letting Jesus die for them. Behind every lie is a failure of courage. Behind every dogma too fearful to bear critical examination, is the same failure. It takes nerve to stand at the edge of everything you know, everything you’ve ever hoped, all your dreams, all your fears, all your bedrock certainties, look God in the face, and ask it a question, because you might get an answer. Why no pope Bellarmine, actually the earth isn’t the center of the universe. And neither are you. A real man of God would encourage people to know the world with courage and humility, just as God created it. A real man of God would teach people how to bear the weight of their lives honorably, and proudly. But a real man of God would have to know how to do that himself. We set the example we are.

So Nicolosi is telling his patients to lie about themselves. Well…yes.

[Update…] Now with bloggy comment goodness… (Hopefully…)

by Bruce Garrett | Link |

Thursday October 13, 2005

Miscellaneous Fun

The Rash

The rash I came home with was on both my arms, where I’d gotten bit in Winslow Arizona. I was worried I’d picked up some strange desert disease, except the rash seldom itched, and when it did it didn’t itch badly, just annoyingly, and it didn’t spread. If it hadn’t come from the insect bits though, I couldn’t figure where else it might have come from. It was just on my arms, and I hadn’t been wading through any vegetation in Winslow, or anywhere else I’d been driving. If it was something I’d picked up from the sheets or pillow cases in the motel it would have been on more then just my arms.

I had my doctor look at it the other day. He’s pretty sure it’s not from something I got from an insect bite, but an allergic reaction from something in the environment. And after puzzling about it I think I know where it must have come from. I bought some sunscreen at a truck stop on the way out of California, and put it on my arms. When you’re driving most of the day, hands on the steering wheel, your arms just sit there in the sunlight, and the southwestern sun can be brutal. So I usually put a strong sunblock on my arms while driving. Geesh…I hope I haven’t become allergic to something they put in sunblock now.

Yay!

I got my promotion. I have moved from being a Senior Software Engineer to Systems Software Engineer. I’m also on probation again for the next six months. I still don’t have my degree see…so the deal is I go through a probation period. But my manager and I talked it over some weeks ago, and concluded that I was doing most of the stuff in the position description already, and I am confidant I can make it through probation. I love my work, I love the people I work with, I love the things I am working on (Hubble, and JWST). It is one of the most amazing things that ever happened to me in my life, that I got the chance to work on all this, to be a part of a project that gathers light from near the beginning of time to discover how the universe was made, and how it all works.

When I was a little kid I used to go out into the field behind our apartment at night, look up at the stars, and wonder what they were. Mom gave me a little golden book of the stars and planets, and I devoured it, amazed at the pictures of nebula, comets, and galaxies. I never dreamed that one day I would be helping to put new and even more amazing pictures into new books, for other kids to look at and wonder. Nothing else I ever do in my life will ever be as worthwhile as this.

It’s A Big World Ritch…Take A Look At It Sometime

It’s amazing what you can piece together from the comment sections of various weblogs…MySpace…Live Journal…Xanga…Blogger…Moveable Type…and so on. The thing about the World Wide Web was how you could “surf” the links, jumping from one document to another, and marvel at where the little connections between the information brought you. The connections between people are even more interesting, and the little slices of their lives you glimpse can be breathtakingly heart warming one moment, and chilling the next. Like the story that unfolded before me while jumping the comment links between blogs the other night, of a popular high school kid whose parents are either divorced or separated (not sure about that detail), and live apart. Apparently his father beats him whenever he can get his hands on him, so the kid lives with his mother. Or did until the day they both discovered he is bisexual, and she promptly shipped him to his father, who promptly beat him up, then shipped him back. Now the mother may be in discussions with Love In Action. So…a good Christian woman who thinks being a bisexual is worse then being a child abuser, let alone someone who provides child abusers with children to abuse. Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven.

Ritch Savin-Williams, in last week’s Time Magazine article on gay teens, seems to scoff at the notion that glbt teens have it harder in this society then their heterosexual peers. His book, The New Gay Teenager gets high praise from the religious right, who find its claim that sexual orientation is something that develops gradually over the course of childhood agreeable. Savin-Williams sneers at critics who point out that his subjects were mostly kids from higher income and well educated parts of the country, asking if they’ve only been looking at the lives of teenage hookers, as if how they became hookers in the first place is irrelevant. But the lives of glbt teens are out there for everyone to see, in their own words. Sometimes their words are heart warming, and deeply moving. And sometimes their words make you just want to put your fist through a wall.

You Knew What He Was When You Voted For Him

Brad DeLong, citing the War and Peace blog, has a post up you should read and ponder, those of you who are taking a fresh new look at President Junior after seeing what his instincts for cronyism brought the gulf coast. If you thought putting a crony pal in charge of FEMA was idiotic consider, if you are brave, what his instincts have probably done to the rest of the federal government he could get his hands on. Like…oh…the department of Health and Human Services. You know…the folks who are getting us all prepared to face a possible killer flu pandemic…

Update: Reader LL points to this Tapped post about Bush's point man at HHS on bioterrorism and public health emergencies (from a TNR story on Bush hacks):

According to his official biography, Stewart Simonson is the Health and Human Services Department's point man "on matters related to bioterrorism and other public health emergencies." Hopefully, he has taken crash courses on smallpox and avian flu, because, prior to joining HHS in 2001, Simonson's background was not in public health, but ... public transit. He'd previously been a top official at the delay-plagued, money-hemorrhaging passenger rail company Amtrak. Before that, he was an adviser to Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson, specializing in crime and prison policy. When Thompson became HHS secretary in 2001, he hired Simonson as a legal adviser and promoted him to his current post shortly before leaving the Department last year. Simonson's biography boasts that he "supervised policy development for Project BioShield," a program designed to speed the manufacture of crucial vaccines and antidotes. "That effort, however, has by most accounts bogged down and shown few results," The Washington Post reported last month.

Really, do we have to wait for a catastrophe every time to get these people replaced by professionals? Doesn't Leavitt have the will to fire this sort of crony?

Public transit…horse breeding… You don’t get it. The important qualifications of each of them were that they were loyal cronies of president smirking fratboy jackass. But that’s exactly the kind of president the republicans wanted in the white house when they put him on the ticket back in 1999. They wanted a president who would reward the party faithful, and particularly the fat cats. It’s their idea of how government works, of what government is supposed to do. Government of the connected, by the connected, and for the connected. Retired GOP House Majority leader Dick Armey, when asked back in 2002 to explain the sudden increase, to the tune of hundreds of million dollars in federal pork, going to republican majority districts remarked, “to the victors go the spoils”. That was the mindset. Bush was their guy.

And make no mistake…that was exactly why millions of red state voters voted for him in two elections. A Bush presidency held out to them the hope of an America, where only white, protestant, right wing religious conservatives had rights, where the government catered specifically to them and upheld their values, their prerogatives, over the rights and freedoms of all others. He was their promise of an America that was for them and them alone. Jews, people of color, sexual minorities, religious minorities, need not apply. Government of the connected, by the connected, and for the connected.

But God save you from what you want. They got their crony president. They also got a war that is killing more and more of their kids every day, whose only tangible benefit to anyone seems to be to companies run by Bush family cronies. They got a treasury filled with IOUs to communist china and an economy more deeply beholden then ever to oil from countries full of people who hate our guts, but whose rulers happen to be Bush family cronies. And when one of the biggest hurricanes to ever hit the gulf coast slammed into a critical American port and refinery city, they found the people in charge of dealing with that disaster were all Bush cronies who didn’t know shit about what they were doing in those jobs, other then how to collect a fat government paycheck. All you people who have been praying all these years for a president who will elevate you above your neighbors, because you think the color of your skin, or your religion, or your sexual orientation, makes you more equal then your neighbors, well…you got the president you asked for. Now pray the avian flu doesn’t cross our boarders, because that president can’t govern, he can only dispense favors. And he’ll save the best and last of those for himself.

by Bruce Garrett | Link

Tuesday October 11, 2005

National Coming Out Day


Love In Action Protest
Memphis, July 29, 2005

Here in Baltimore, Peterson Toscano will be performing his one man plays, Doin’ Time In The Homo No Mo Halfway House on Friday, October 14th at 7:30PM and also Queer 101 and excerpts from The re-Education of George Bush at the Brown Memorial Park Ave Presbyterian Church at 1316 Park Avenue, on Saturday, October 15th at 7:30PM. Contact Carol Graves (410-366-4662, graves9d@aol.com) or Don Stroud (410-435-3031, donestro@aol.com) for more info.


Love In Action Protest
Memphis, July 29, 2005

To anyone thinking of coming out today, and to all those who know they can’t just yet…be proud. Being gay doesn’t mean you can’t live a decent, whole, fulfilling life, just that in today’s world it will be a bit more of a struggle for you then for your peers. But all life is a purposeful struggle in one way or another. To fight to be yourself, to live your life as who you are, and embrace your dreams in your own way, is a noble struggle. The painter, Picasso once said, “When I was a child my mother said to me, ‘If you enter the military you can become a general. If you enter the church, you can become the pope.’ Instead, I went into painting and I became Picasso.” You can become the person you were always meant to be. Your dreams are out there. Walk proudly into them.

by Bruce Garrett | Link

Visit The Woodward Class of '72 Reunion Website For Fun And Memories, WoodwardClassOf72.com


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