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Archive for August, 2007

August 30th, 2007

A Code I Never Had To Learn…

…and Thank You God for it.  This from David Ehrenstein…

Our (not so) private Idahos

Sen. Larry Craig’s arrest shows that ‘Tearoom Trade’ is alive and well despite the progress of gay rights.

On June 28, 1969, when New York’s far-from-fashionable Stonewall Inn was raided, the patrons responded by fighting the cops. Although gays and lesbians had resisted before (often right here in Los Angeles), this Manhattan uprising served to jump-start the modern phase of the gay rights movement.

That movement, with its defiant insistence on being free to be as gay as all-get-out, quickly left the likes of Walter Jenkins and, if the cops were right, Larry Craig in the dust. They’re part of a subculture within a subculture that was memorably identified by the daring sociologist Laud Humphreys in a landmark sociological study titled "Tearoom Trade."

Published in 1970, "Tearoom Trade" is full of useful information about foot tapping, shoe touching, hand signaling and all the other rituals those so inclined use to make contact with one another in such places. Clearly no media outlet should be without a copy — especially, whose editors revealed their cluelessness on the subject this week in a "real time conversation" rife with unintentional hilarity: "I can’t believe it’s a crime to tap your foot." "Can someone explain the mechanics of how two people are supposed to commit a sex act in a stall where legs are visible from the knee down?"

I have no idea either…and if you’re gay and you don’t either, then spare a moment of quiet thanks to all the street kids and drag queens who fought back at the Stonewall Inn that day in June 1969 (and now you know, in case you didn’t before, why Gay Pride Day (or Pride Week depending on where you live) usually falls in late June…). 

It’s not making excuses for the likes of Larry Craig, to say that the behavior is understandable nonetheless.  Ehrenstein is absolutely right about this:

…in the age of Ellen DeGeneres, Neil Patrick Harris, "Brokeback Mountain" and the smooching gay teens on "As the World Turns," bathroom cruisers seem almost antique. Today’s gays want to get married, and an airport men’s room is no place to propose.

Moreover, if what you’re "proposing" falls well short of marriage, there’s always the Internet. Larry Craig, meet Craigslist. In short, never has the admonition "Get a room!" seemed more apropos. It’s up to the I’m-not-gay(s) to discover the real freedoms fought for and won by the people they so fiercely claim they’re not.

I know what a lot of you guys were taught about homosexuals…I was taught a lot of that crap too.  It’s bullshit.  There is nothing wrong with you.  You don’t have to keep flushing your heart down the toilet.  The people you’re trying to appease by denying yourself, hate you anyway. 

That stain you feel on your soul…it’s not yours.  It’s theirs…the haters, the ignorant, the arrogant.  They want you to think it’s a stain on you, they want you to feel unclean, every moment of every day.  Because they hate you.  They want you to consign your soul to the sewer, so they won’t have to look at the sewer they’ve made of their own souls. 

You need to leave the toilet.  Leave it to the purpose it was made for.  The joy of sex does not belong there.  Sex is wonderful.  Sex is awesome.  It is one of this life’s perfect joys.  Get up.  Walk over to the sink.  Look in the mirror and say "I Am A Homosexual."  You don’t have to say it with a flourish of pride, you just have to look yourself in the eye and say it.  Then wash your hands.  Wash them like you’re washing off every filthy lie about homosexuals you ever heard.  Make yourself clean again.  Because you Are clean.  There is nothing wrong with you.  There was never anything wrong with you.

Then walk out of there.  Don’t look back.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on A Code I Never Had To Learn…

But Can We Get Him To Run For President? The Base Will Love Him…

Why is this not surprising…

Report: Khan Banned Homosexual Acts


Homosexual acts were punishable by death under Genghis Khan’s rule, according to researchers who spent more than a year compiling the legendary Mongolian conqueror’s code of laws, the official Xinhua News Agency said Thursday.

Article 48 of the code said men who "committed sodomy shall be put to death," according to experts at a research institute in the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia.

Hmmmm…Genghis Kahn…the American right…

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on But Can We Get Him To Run For President? The Base Will Love Him…

August 29th, 2007

Larry Craig’s Generation…A Little Context

From The Fall of ’55 Documentary web site

In the fall of 1955, the citizens of Boise, Idaho were told there was a menace in their midst. On Halloween, three men were arrested — accused of being part of a giant "sex ring" preying on teenage boys. There was no such ring, but the result was a widespread investigation which some people now call a witch hunt.

By the time the investigation ended, 16 men were charged with sex crimes — including men accused of having relations with other consenting adults. But countless other lives were also touched. In some cases, men implicated fled the area. At least one family actually left the country.

The investigation attracted the attention of "Time Magazine" and newspapers across America. In 1966, the book "The Boys of Boise" once again brought the cases to the nation’s attention. The "morals drive" — and the subsequent publicity — left scars which remain to this day.

When people scratch their heads over the behavior of men like Larry Craig, it helps to look back at the world they grew up in.  I was lucky enough to have entered adolescence in the late 60s, just as the modern gay rights movement was taking shape, and so I was spared a lot of what those men had to live through.  But I was close enough to it to have felt some of the venom, the relentless  pathologizing of homosexuals by the culture of the 50s.  When I was a kid, it was routine for newspapers, TV shows and movies to portray homosexuals in the ugliest, most psychotic ways possible.  In films and on TV, the homosexual characters usually met violent ends, as Vito Russo documented in his landmark book, The Celluloid Closet

What happened in Boise surely isn’t the only homosexual panic that occurred during the 1950s, that resulted in a witch hunt of gay men.  The book, Sex Crime Panic, documents another one that happened, also in 1955, this time in Soux City Iowa.  In that one 20 men were rounded up and committed for an indefinite period to a mental institution as "criminal sexual psychopaths", housed in a ward created especially to house homosexual men.  Their only crime was being homosexuals, and having affairs with other consenting adults.  Not one man incarcerated in that mental ward was there for the crime that originally set off the panic…the abduction and murder of two children.  Those killers were never found and brought to justice.  But nobody questioned the logic of rounding up a bunch of homosexuals and locking them away as a public safety measure. 

It was most likely viewed back then, as the more humane alternative…

"Whoa, whoa, whoa. It ain’t goin a be that way. We can’t. I’m stuck with what I got, caught in my own loop. Can’t get out of it. Jack, I don’t want a be like them guys you see around sometimes. And I don’t want a be dead. There was these two old guys ranched together down home, Earl and Rich…Dad would pass a remark when he seen them. They was a joke even though they was pretty tough old birds. I was what, nine years old, and they found Earl dead in a irrigation ditch. They’d took a tire iron to him, spurred him up, drug him around by his dick until it pulled off, just bloody pulp. What the tire iron done looked like pieces a burned tomatoes all over him, nose tore down from skiddin on gravel."

"You seen that?"

"Dad made sure I seen it. Took me to see it. Me and K.E. Dad laughed about it. Hell, for all I know he done the job. If he was alive and was to put his head in that door right now you bet he’d go get his tire iron…"

-Annie Proulx – Brokeback Mountain

Larry Craig, born in Council, Idaho in July of 1945, would have been 10 when the 1955 Boise homosexual panic happened.

[Edited a tad…]

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Larry Craig’s Generation…A Little Context

Getting Your Comfortable Conceits Blown Away Usually Is A Tad Shocking…Yes…

Via Queerty (Free of an agenda, except that gay one…).  Here’s a bit of a CNN transcript of an interview with Kyra Phillips and an Atlanta vice officer named Darryl Tolleson, on the Larry Craig thing, and what its like to patrol the toilet beat…

Phillips: And tell me about the type of people that you arrested. I mean, give – can you tell me – well, first of all, let me ask you, have you arrested anyone that is well known like a politician or someone of famous stature?

Tolleson: No, I wouldn’t say that. But we have arrested certainly some high-profile people. It ranged from CEOs, bank presidents…

Phillips: Oh, my gosh.

Tolleson: …professors, college professors. So, it really runs the gamut as far as who we actually apprehend and who has been involved in this in the past.

Phillips: Are they gay? Are all of them gay?

Tolleson: I can’t say. I can only tell you that a good majority of these men do have families. And that’s been a little bit shocking to us. You would think that it would be more of a gay issue. But overwhelmingly more and more we’re seeing that these are people with families.

(Emphasis mine) This is pretty much what a friend of mine, Jon Larimore who once ran the Gay And Lesbian Information Bureau BBS System back in the mid 80s to late 90s experienced.  I did volunteer work on the BBS, which was created to be a news and information resource for the local gay community.  It was funded by the non-profit Community Educational Services Foundation.  Jon told me many times that he would get calls on the GLIB support phone line, late at night usually, from men who had just been arrested in a cruising zone, usually a men’s room that had been staked out by the cops, and were franticly looking for legal advice and support.  Jon told me that almost without exception these were deeply closeted men who were terrified of their wives and/or families finding out.

It didn’t surprise me then, and it shouldn’t surprise anyone now.  Even back in the 80s, before the Internet came along (and wiped out all the BBS systems), many of us who were out and comfortable with our sexual selves had already lived lives where we never felt compelled to journey into that pit.  We had a burgeoning social scene, at least in the D.C. area, that was better then the seedy mafia run bars that were all gay folk had back in the early 60s, where we could meet other out and about gay folk.  If all you wanted was sex, there was the bar scene where you could cruise to your hearts content, and sex clubs you could go to if you just wanted to dispense with the formalities.  Even back then the tea room scene was almost exclusively populated by deeply closeted types who couldn’t imagine themselves being seen in going into a gay bar…and the kind who are turned on by the thrill of risk.

For those of us with a more Disney-esq yearning for romance and finding that soulmate to put your arms around, it wasn’t exactly the best of times, but it was light years away from the worst.  And you could see a better place coming down the road as long as gay people kept fighting for the right to just be ourselves, openly, proudly.  I stayed well away from the sex clubs, visited the bars infrequently, and mostly socialized online, and at parties and G.L.I.B. happy hours downtown with my fellow gay geeks.  But I knew from hearing the stories, what was going on with the guys who frequented mens rooms.  At least one vice cop is willing to acknowledge what his own experience is telling him.  Which I guess is a good thing.  But they should all know this by now.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Getting Your Comfortable Conceits Blown Away Usually Is A Tad Shocking…Yes…

You Were Played. You Were Conned. You Were Used. Some Of You Anyway. You Dopes.

Via Digby…

Avedon Carol:

…I would have been unable to resist saying that Republicans have shown no sign of believing in "the right to keep your own money" or in limited government or in a "strong defense". Allowing rich people and corporations to make use of (and often ruin) public services without paying for them is not giving you "the right to keep your own money"; in fact, it’s making you pay for the things they get more use from. Limiting the power of government to protect your Constitutional rights is not "limited government"; neither is allowing a president the power to summarily deprive individuals of those rights "limited government". Bankrupting the Treasury in order to give the DoD money it doesn’t need (and doesn’t spend wisely) while you go blow up other countries that posed no threat to the US is not "a strong defense".

Conservatives have always supported intrusive government, they have always endangered Americans by aggravating other countries, and they have always been very happy to collect taxes from ordinary working people and use that tax money to fatten the Malefactors of Great Wealth while depriving the rest of us of our freedoms. Those same people conned a number of libertarian-minded young people in the ’70s and ’80s into believing that conservatism was liberalism and vice-versa because a few intolerant lefties went overboard in their objections to morally reprehensible expressions of racism and sexism. I would have thought these kids would have grown up by now and realized that they’re still paying taxes but under the Republicans they’re getting less for them – and that’s before the bill for all that "strong defense" comes due. How dumb they have to be to think it makes sense to be both Republican and gay after all this just doesn’t bear thinking about.

I was one of those who were conned…right up until Reagan gave me a clear understanding of what kind of government we were likely to end up with when market forces become the moral standard and the rule of law bows to the rule of money.  But I think the final nail in my libertarian phase’s coffin was the reaction of many of my ersatz fellow libertarians to the supreme court decision in Hardwick v. Bowers, that upheld the sodomy laws.  I heard a lot of applause for the court standing up for state’s rights, while at the same time paying lip service to the proposition that individuals should be free to have whatever sex they wanted to, as long as it was mutually consensual.  How, I asked them, don’t sodomy laws violate the fundamental libertarian principles of individual freedom and freedom of association?  To which I got the standard "state’s rights" reply. 

Me: But…sodomy laws are wrong…they’re evil…

They: The federal government has no business telling the states what laws they can pass.

Me:  But…you Do agree that state don’t have the right to trample on the individual’s liberty…?

They:  The federal government has no business telling the states what laws they can pass.

Me:  But…states don’t have any more right to abridge the freedoms of the people then the federal government does… 

They:  The federal government has no business telling the states what laws they can pass.

…and so on.  That was when I realized that a lot of libertarians were merely right wing conservatives cloaking themselves in libertarian rhetoric about individual freedom when it suited them.  I’ve watched them play that game ever since.  And amazingly, as President Nice Job Brownie has proven, they can rip the rights guarantees right out of our constitution, eliminate the right to a trial by a jury of our peers, eliminate access even to the courts, spy on Americans and laugh at the need to get a warrant, lie the country into war, assert that the government has the right to determine what is, and what is not a family, declare same sex couples to be legally strangers before the law with no recourse to marriage or even civil unions, and wave our tax dollars in our faces before stuffing them into their cronies pockets…and those gen-X knuckleheads who bought into it during the Reagan years will still insist that republicans and conservatives are for individual rights and democrats and liberals hate freedom and are for big government.


[Edited a tad…] 

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on You Were Played. You Were Conned. You Were Used. Some Of You Anyway. You Dopes.

August 28th, 2007

If Only You Didn’t Hate Us So Much…If Only You Could Just Not Hate Us Quite So Very Much…

Well you had to know this was coming.  ABC News, the network that whitewashed the murder of Matthew Shepard, smearing a murdered gay kid as a meth addict who probably had sex with at least one of his killers, ABC News now tells us that the problem with Larry Craig isn’t so much that he was cruising for sex in toilets all the while promoting himself as a Family Values man, but that he was gay…and That’s What Gays Do…

Secret Signals: How Gay Men Cruise for Sex
When Men Cruise for Sex in Public Places, Police Take Notice and Gays Say It’s Unfair

Dig the headlines here.  It’s the 1950s all over again as far as how ABC views the gay community.  We’re all sex crazed perverts sulking around public toilets…

Public places like men’s restrooms, in airports and train stations, truck stops, university libraries and parks, have long been places where gay and bisexual men, particularly those in the closet, congregate in order to meet for anonymous sex.

Over time, people familiar with cruising told, gay men began using a codified system of signals to indicate to others that they were interested in sex. In an effort to curb lewd acts in public — or as some gays argue, in an effort to persecute gay men — undercover police began sting operations in places known for sex soliciting and employed the same codes.

You have to read to the very end of the article before you get to this, sorta-kinda acknowledgment that this is a behavior characteristic more of the closet, then of gay people as a whole…

With many other options available for gay men to meet each other, Gershen Kaufman, a professor emeritus of psychology at Michigan State University and author of the book "Coming Out of Shame," said public cruising is practiced mainly by deeply closeted men.

"Cruisers are not sex offenders. They are deeply, deeply closeted. There is a lot of self-hatred and shame and they can’t allow themselves to come to terms with their sexuality.

The fact is that anonymous cruising areas are an artifact of the persecution gay people faced daily before Stonewall, when gay bars were routinely raided by the police, their customers rounded up like cattle and herded into paddy wagons, their names and addresses printed in the newspapers the following day.  Back in those days you could loose your job, the roof over your head, be expelled from college or dismissed from a jobs program, be denied or have a professional license revoked, and be put on a sex offenders registry and be required to report any change of residence to the police…simply for being gay.  This is why back then, many gay people gravitated to places where they could have sex anonymously: because being identified as a homosexual could have devastating consequences.  Anonymous sex was seen as a safe outlet. 

Back in the 50s, heterosexual sexuality had to conform to the nuclear family ideal, and gay sexuality was forced by fear and prejudice into a pattern of brief barren encounters.  When the sexual revolution came along, heterosexuals broke free of the stifling conformity of the 50s, and felt free to explore their sexuality and find their own places of sexual joy and fulfillment on their own terms.  I think a lot of gay people, seeing heterosexuals suddenly discovering the joys of sex for its own sake, mistook the culture of anonymous sex they’d been forced into for generations for a kind of liberation too.  Well look at us…we were sexual pioneers all along and we didn’t even know it…  No…we were outcasts, driven into the gutter by prejudice and hate. 

While it may have seemed superficially back in the brutal 1950s that gays were having sex for its own sake, the fact was that we were a people whose sexuality was being brutally stifled.  Gay people had sex in back alleys and parks and toilets back then, not because we were sexual pioneers way before the swinging 60s, but because the sex drive isn’t something that you can stifle in a mammal, let alone a primate, let alone a human being, for very long.  It had to come out somewhere, and if that wasn’t in the normal human course of dating and mating, then it was going to be in quick, desperate assignations, because an instinct older then the fish was going to drive us, some how, some way, toward some sort of sexual joining, no matter how much fear and self loathing the culture managed to cram into our heads…and our hearts.

Sexual freedom was good for heterosexuals, and it was good for us too.  But I think, especially in the years right after Stonewall, that a lot of gay people mistook the tea rooms for a liberation that we already had.  No.  It was repression.  We are not a free people, if anonymous random hooking up is the only choice we are allowed.  I get…trust me I get the fact…that there are gay people who feel that cruising for anonymous sex is liberation and getting married and settling down is a kind of sexual selling out.  It’s bullshit.  Anonymous sex is fine, whether you’re gay or straight, if that’s your sexual temperament.  Not everyone is emotionally equipped for relationships, let alone monogamy.  Fine.  What was good about the sexual revolution, was that it gave our bodies and our libidos back to us.  As long as people are decent to one another, to paraphrase Jefferson, it neither picks my pockets nor breaks my legs if the sex they’re having is not the sort of sex I would want to have myself.  But we’re not all into that by any means, and if sexual freedom for heterosexuals meant that they could have all the casual sex they want, then it has to also mean that gay people can do the dating and mating thing if that’s what they want.

And that’s what’s been happening for the past couple decades, although you’d never know it to listen to ABC News.  Gay couples have in a sense, and literally, been moving into the suburbs.  They’ve been getting married.  They’ve been settling down.  Gay kids are playing the dating and mating game now, just like their heterosexual peers.  Gay neighborhoods have coffee shops, grocery stores, boutiques, same sex couples walking their dogs, chatting about the weather, bellyaching about taxes and city services.  The cruising zones have given way to online dating services.

I can see, in a really perverse way, how some gay men might think that holding on to toilet stall sex amounts to preserving some kind of gay cultural legacy.  But it’s a legacy of repression and persecution, the verdict of bigots, not merely on our sexuality, but on our very hearts and souls.  Homosexuals are filth…  No.  We are human beings.   The men having toilet stall sex these days are almost exclusively deeply closeted people who are full of the fear and self loathing nearly everyone had back before Stonewall…back before Hooker’s study, and the APA removing homosexuality from its list of mental diseases…back when we almost all believed that we were sick, like everyone said we were…back when we hated ourselves. 

"If only we didn’t hate ourselves so much…if only we could just not hate ourselves quite so very much…"
-Michael, The Boys In The Band

The fact that this kind of thing is still going on is proof that as far as we’ve come as a people, we still have a long way to go before we’re truly free.  And if the likes of the republican party and their mouthpieces like ABC News have their way of course, we never will be.  The problem wasn’t that we hated ourselves.  The problem was never that we hated ourselves.  To hate yourself is not the human condition.  We were taught to hate ourselves.  Because so many others hated us, and could never endure seeing us happy, contented, proud, and least of all…loved.  What ABC News is trying to do here, is rekindle that hatred.  So the day can come again when we can be taught to hate ourselves once more.  So that one day we may once again come to believe that our sexuality, that our love lives, that we, belong in the sewer.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on If Only You Didn’t Hate Us So Much…If Only You Could Just Not Hate Us Quite So Very Much…

We’re The Moral Values Party…The Party Is The Moral Value…

Glen Greenwald has a good post up about the somewhat different reactions from the kook pews to Larry Craig’s first outing, verses his second…

The reaction to the Larry Craig story provides one of the most vivid illustrations yet of how the right-wing movement works. Last October, just weeks before the midterm election, gay activist Mike Rogers reported that the married, GOP "family values" Senator repeatedly had sex with anonymous men in public bathrooms. His report was based on "extensive research," including interviews with several men whom Craig solicited for bathroom sex.

As Rogers argued at the time, the story was relevant — just as the Vitter prostitute story was — in light of Craig’s frequent political exploitation of issues of sexual morality and his opposition to virtually every gay rights bill. Rogers’ story, as a factual matter, seemed relatively credible, both because of his history of accurate outings and because there is no discernible reason why, if he were intent on fabricating, he would single out someone as obscure as Larry Craig, who was not even up for re-election.

Nonetheless, it is hard to overstate the intense fury that this pre-election report triggered from the Right — not at Senator Craig for engaging in this behavior, but at Rogers for reporting it.

The "Then" and "Now" examples Greenwald gives make it sickeningly clear that the problem for the Party Of Moral Values was the election, and not Craig’s behavior.

Last year, in excoriating Mike Rogers for reporting about Craig’s bathroom sex, Dean Barnett said:

I’m sorry if this topic causes embarrassment to Larry Craig and his family, but I assume by now they’ve figured out that politics in 2006 is a thoroughly rotten business. . . .

THE FIRST LEFT WING PATHOLOGY "OUTED" by the Craig story is the relentless meanness that characterizes modern day liberalism. . . .BUT MOST DAMNING OF THE LEFT is the casual assumption of group-think that this exercise demonstrates. The logic is that if you’re gay, you must therefore support gay marriage. What’s more, you must support everything that someone like Glenn Greenwald supports. To do otherwise evidences self-hatred and a betrayal of the cause.

But today, Barnett — based on reports of the exact same behavior from Craig — demanded that Craig resign from the Senate and said this:

AS TO THE SERIOUS QUESTION OF whether or not Senator Craig should resign, that one’s a no-brainer for someone like me who thought David Vitter should have stepped down. To lead millions of people, one needs at least a modicum of moral stature. Both politicians forfeited that stature when they engaged in their off-campus hijinks . . . .

Vitter falls into the same category. You can’t preen as a moralist and then seek out the services of a prostitute. If Vitter (or Craig or Clinton) had positioned themselves as libertarian libertines, then their private diddlings would have been none of our concern. But all three made a habit of saluting good old All-American family values. How a ranking public office-holder can be so thoroughly revealed as a hypocrite and still cling to his position is beyond me.

I would honestly pay money to watch someone try to reconcile those two positions. Last October, Barnett depicted Rogers as an "odious presence" for violating Craig’s privacy based on purely private behavior that was none of anyone’s business. Today, the same Barnett demands that Craig resign from the Senate, and invokes exactly the rationale which Rogers and other "outers" use to justify these disclosures ("How a ranking public office-holder can be so thoroughly revealed as a hypocrite and still cling to his position is beyond me").

Finally, and rather hilariously, Barnett defends Hewitt’s demand that Craig resign but Vitter need not as follows: "Where one draws the line on such matters is arbitrary, so I don’t think anyone’s being hypocritical if they say Vitter can stay and Craig must go."

Apparently, what matters is to have moral standards, even if they are completely incoherent, arbitrary and applied solely to suit one’s personal biases and political interests [Vitter’s resignation would be for heterosexual encounters and would lead to appointment of a Democratic replacement (hence Hewitt opposes it), while Craig’s resignation would be for gay sex and would lead to a GOP replacement (hence Hewitt favors it)]. It might be totally "arbitrary," says Barnett, but at least it is a moral standard.

Right.  As Garrison Keillor said after the 2000 "election" of President Nice Job Brownie, they’re republicans first, and Americans second.  What benefits The Party is morally right, because it benefits The Party.  That’s the standard.  Everything else from God to Abortion to Same Sex Marriage is just a hook to get the rubes into the voting booths.  They don’t give a good goddamn about any of that.  They just want power.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on We’re The Moral Values Party…The Party Is The Moral Value…

The Tragic Characteristics Of Brain Gangrene

Via KOS, via Joshua Marshall…

The Idaho Values Alliance–"Making Idaho the Friendliest Place in the World to Raise a Family"–is going to have a hard time swallowing the latest news about its beloved Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID), who pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct for lewd conduct in an airport restroom.

Here’s one page of the group’s site, a news update where it praises Craig for his "pro-life" vote on stem cell research, followed by a "Bonus Byte" on the perils of homosexuality and airport restrooms:

One of the tragic characteristics of the homosexual lifestyle is its emphasis on anonymous sex and multiple sexual partners. It is a little-acknowledged secret that many active homosexuals will have more than 1,000 sex partners over the course of a lifetime…

Figure at age 53 I should have had at least 6 or 7 hundred of those by now.  I’ve laid down with exactly six guys in my entire  lifetime.  That’s one less then these kooks claim is the average for heterosexuals, and I figure one of those times really shouldn’t count because nothing really happened.  So somebody, some royal son of a bitch, took my share of all that fabulous gay sex I keep hearing about…and when I get my hands on him I’m going to throttle him…

This sordid fact of homosexual life surfaced yesterday in an AP article yesterday that reports on the number of arrests police have made for indecent exposure and public sex acts in the restrooms at Atlanta’s airport, the busiest in the world. The increased restroom patrols, begun to apprehend luggage thieves, instead uncovered a rash of sex crimes. Airport restrooms have become so popular that men looking for anonymous sexual trysts with other men have advertised their airport availability on Craigslist. One such ad was from a man saying he was stuck at the airport for three hours and was looking for “discreet, quick action.”

He wouldn’t have been from Boise…by any chance…?

This Idaho Values Alliance was (until lately one would have to suppose) a big supporter of Larry Craig’s.  Point of fact, according to Marshall…

What are the odds of a piece on airport restroom trysts appearing below a picture of Larry Craig in a conservative group’s newsletter, not to mention the reference to Craigslist?

See…this is what I meant in that last post, when I said that Craig was only behaving the way the right wing culture he was swimming in told him homosexuals behave.  I won’t deny that there are gay people who are into the quick anonymous hooking up sex scene…but that’s no more the whole of gay life then Baltimore’s Block amounts to the whole of heterosexual life.  Don’t tell me that there aren’t a lot of heterosexuals who get into all that crap too.  Back in the 70s the only places where I could find copies of the local Washington gay paper (The Blade) and The Advocate, were seedy adult bookstores.  I got an eyeful in those days of what heterosexuals were up to.

But crackpots like The Idaho Values Alliance aren’t saying merely that having sex in toilets is something most homosexuals do…they’re saying that To Be Homosexual, Is To Have Sex In Bathrooms.  Or in other words, Homosexuals Don’t Love, They Just Have Sex.  And tragically, a lot of gay people grow up believing that of themselves.  Homosexuality doesn’t drag people into the gutter.  Homosexuals are pushed into it.  By…you know…decent god fearing people.  Morally righteous people who have no trouble whatsoever teaching gay kids that homosexuality is nothing but cheap random empty sex in toilets, and then congratulating themselves on their heterosexuality when those kids grow up acting like they were taught to act.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on The Tragic Characteristics Of Brain Gangrene

Jiminy God!

Senators aren’t the only folks these days with their reputations in the toilet.  American journalism is also looking pretty squalid.  The chatter around the net, after Senator Larry Craig’s arrest and guilty plea for lewd conduct, was that reporter Dan Popkey of The Idaho Statesman had been working on a pretty explosive investigation into Craig’s past sexual conduct, and uncovered the arrest and guilty plea for lewd behavior last June, and that Popkey’s story got trashcanned after Craig’s lawyers sat down and had a little chat with the editor and the publisher of his home state newspaper.

Well…I guess on the principle that there’s no point in sitting on the story now, The Idaho Statesman has finally gone ahead and published what looks like a slightly updated version of Popkey’s story.  Here it is:

Men’s room arrest reopens questions about Sen. Larry Craig

Idaho senator pleads guilty to disorderly conduct after incident at Minnesota airport that echoes previous allegation of homosexual conduct.


In an interview on May 14, Craig told the Idaho Statesman he’d never engaged in sex with a man or solicited sex with a man. The Craig interview was the culmination of a Statesman investigation that began after a blogger accused Craig of homosexual sex in October. Over five months, the Statesman examined rumors about Craig dating to his college days and his 1982 pre-emptive denial that he had sex with underage congressional pages.

The most serious finding by the Statesman was the report by a professional man with close ties to Republican officials. The 40-year-old man reported having oral sex with Craig at Washington’s Union Station, probably in 2004. The Statesman also spoke with a man who said Craig made a sexual advance toward him at the University of Idaho in 1967 and a man who said Craig "cruised" him for sex in 1994 at the REI store in Boise. The Statesman also explored dozens of allegations that proved untrue, unclear or unverifiable.

Craig, 62, was elected to Congress in 1980. Should he win re-election in 2008 and complete his term, he would be the longest-serving Idahoan ever in Congress. His record includes a series of votes against gay rights and his support of a 2006 amendment to the Idaho Constitution that bars gay marriage and civil unions.

The article is lengthy and pretty detailed and reading it you get a better grasp of the rest of the iceburg that was lurking under the news reports of Craig’s airport men’s room arrest.  It starts with his sudden and head turning pre-emptive denial back in 1982 that he’d ever had sex with a congressional page, and flits from one men’s room to another…with a brief detour back to his college fraternity days.

Craig told the Statesman he was unaware of rumors about him being gay going back to his college days. Craig had about 150 fraternity brothers at Delta Chi during his U of I years.

The Statesman interviewed 41 of them. Of those 41, three said there were jokes about him being effeminate and possibly gay. Most said that had Craig been thought to be gay, he would have never become a leader in the fraternity and the student body.

As president of Delta Chi, Craig secured a $100,000 loan to remodel the fraternity house, instituted study hours, and blackballed members for drug use. They called him "Mother Craig" for his officiousness.


Most of Craig’s college friends say he was disciplined, studious and serious, even if he was awkward with women.

One woman who dated him off and on for a year asked not to be named, but said, "I don’t imagine that he ever held my hand. He was into the gotta-hold-the-door-for-the-woman sort of thing. But I always felt like I was an accessory. I might as well have been his briefcase."

Lady…the word is ‘beard’.  One student who had been considering pledging with Craig’s fraternity told the reporter that Craig had taken him back to his room and made a pass at him.  Craig denied it, as he denied the story of the man who said he cruised him at the REI store in Boise, and the man who said he’d had sex with Craig in the men’s room at Union Station in Washington D.C. 

I want to feel some sympathy for Craig…the religious right’s long war on human sexuality has left a lot of Americans with twisted up sex lives…but I can’t.  He made himself as much a part of the right wing machine as any Dobson or Falwell and whether that was his way of transferring his own self loathing onto everyone else, or he really does hate humanity as much as his neighbors in the kook pews, it doesn’t matter.  While he was cruising the toilets for sex, he was busy bashing gay people who were trying to make something fine and decent and whole out of their lives.  He tried to cut off our wedding rings, at the same time his own was peeping out from under toilet stall walls.  It’s unforgivable. 

But Craig is what you get when you apply the religious right’s teachings on homosexuality.  He was everything the religious right said a homosexual should be.  Self-loathing and dedicated to maintaining a heterosexual pretense regardless of the cost to himself, or to others.  

In the May 14 interview, Craig and his wife listened to a four-minute excerpt of the Statesman’s interview with the 40-year-old man who first spoke to Rogers. At first, Craig objected to the man’s anonymity, but agreed to listen. The man’s voice was disguised.

Craig said the man is an activist. "The gay movement, we know it for what it is. It’s now aggressive and it’s liberal and it’s naming people to try to put them in compromising, difficult situations."

Suzanne Craig’s eyes reddened and filled with tears as she listened. After her husband’s denial, she said, "I’m incensed that you would even consider such a piece of trash as a credible source."

To which Craig added, "Jiminy God!"

I hope she saves a bit of the blame for all of this, for all the fundamentalist pulpit thumpers that keep screaming at Americans that sex is a shameful and dirty thing, and that there is nothing more shameful and dirty and perverted, then to be a homosexual.  Craig was only doing that day in that men’s room, what they’d told him all his life that homosexuals do.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Jiminy God!

August 27th, 2007

How Fitting That You Were Arrested In The Toilet Senator…

After all…it’s what you condemned marriage to when you voted to make it a heterosexual prerogative…  Oh…and along with it…your life…

Sen. Craig arrested in airport men’s room; admits to disorderly conduct

Roll Call is reporting that Sen. Larry Craig, an Idaho Republican, was arrested earlier this summer in a men’s room at the Minneapolis airport by an undercover officer investigating complaints about sexual activity. The Capitol Hill newspaper says it obtained the arrest report.

According to the incident report, Sgt. Dave Karsnia was working as a plainclothes officer on June 11 investigating civilian complaints regarding sexual activity in the men’s public restroom in which Craig was arrested.

Airport police previously had made numerous arrests in the men’s restroom of the Northstar Crossing in the Lindbergh Terminal in connection with sexual activity.

Karsnia entered the bathroom at noon that day and about 13 minutes after taking a seat in a stall, he stated he could see “an older white male with grey hair standing outside my stall.” 

The man, who lingered in front of the stall for two minutes, was later identified as Craig.

“I could see Craig look through the crack in the door from his position. Craig would look down at his hands, ‘fidget’ with his fingers, and then look through the crack into my stall again. Craig would repeat this cycle for about two minutes,” the report states.

Craig then entered the stall next to Karsnia’s and placed his roller bag against the front of the stall door.

“My experience has shown that individuals engaging in lewd conduct use their bags to block the view from the front of their stall,” Karsnia stated in his report. “From my seated position, I could observe the shoes and ankles of Craig seated to the left of me.”

Craig was wearing dress pants with black dress shoes.

“At 1216 hours, Craig tapped his right foot. I recognized this as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct. Craig tapped his toes several times and moves his foot closer to my foot.

I moved my foot up and down slowly. While this was occurring, the male in the stall to my right was still present. I could hear several unknown persons in the restroom that appeared to use the restroom for its intended use. The presence of others did not seem to deter Craig as he moved his right foot so that it touched the side of my left foot which was within my stall area,” the report states.

Craig then proceeded to swipe his hand under the stall divider several times, and Karsnia noted in his report that “I could … see Craig had a gold ring on his ring finger as his hand was on my side of the stall divider.”

Karsnia then held his police identification down by the floor so that Craig could see it.  “With my left hand near the floor, I pointed towards the exit. Craig responded, ‘No!’ I again pointed towards the exit. Craig exited the stall with his roller bags without flushing the toilet. … Craig said he would not go. I told Craig that he was under arrest, he had to go, and that I didn’t want to make a scene. Craig then left the restroom.”

In a recorded interview after his arrest, Craig “either disagreed with me or ‘didn’t recall’ the events as they happened,” the report states.

Craig stated “that he has a wide stance when going to the bathroom and that his foot may have touched mine,” the report states. Craig also told the arresting officer that he reached down with his right hand to pick up a piece of paper that was on the floor.

“It should be noted that there was not a piece of paper on the bathroom floor, nor did Craig pick up a piece of paper,” the arresting officer said in the report.

Via AmericaBlog…Let’s review a little bit of history…shall we…?

* Voted YES on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. (Jun 2006)
* Voted NO on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes. (Jun 2002)
* Voted NO on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation. (Jun 2000)
* Voted YES on prohibiting same-sex marriage. (Sep 1996)
* Voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation. (Sep 1996)

I could … see Craig had a gold ring on his ring finger as his hand was on my side of the stall divider.”   If there’s one image you can take away from the George Bush years, one defining moment that sums up perfectly the condition of the right wing gutter, the moral compass of the William Bennett’s, James Dobsons, Jerry Falwells and Charles Krauthammers of the American right…here it is:  the hand of a senator who voted for the federal marriage amendment, furtively moving under a toilet stall wall, the gold wedding band on his ring finger glinting in the pale florescent light as he tries to proposition the vice cop in the stall next to his.  You could write volumes about the degeneracy of the American right wing, and not capture it as utterly, as elegantly, as that one profoundly sickening image does.  It is perfect.

Marriage is a sacred thing the right insists…and so it is.  For couples in love the wedding band is a symbol of one of this life’s most perfect joys.  But to the right it is no more then a cheap status symbol…like owning a Bentley, or having white skin.  Something to denote privilege, status, rank.  Certainly nothing to do with love and desire, trust and devotion.  Whether Larry Craig is a homosexual, or a heterosexual man with some pretty major sexual issues, it makes no difference.  When he consigned the sex lives of his gay neighbors to the toilet, he consigned his own sex life there too.   Love keeps no balance sheet, acknowledges no rank, bows to no prejudice.  The one who doesn’t know this, has either never loved, or never loved anyone more then they loved rank and status.  The ring knew where it belonged.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on How Fitting That You Were Arrested In The Toilet Senator…

Are You Seriously Asking What’s Wrong With Torturing Dogs…???

I haven’t been following the Michael Vick dog fighting story all that much, partly because it’s one of those miserable stories that I just don’t want to get very emotionally involved in.  There are tons of those going across my news ticker every day and after I’ve read the latest from President Dispshit’s Excellent Iraq Adventure, and More Anti-Gay Crap From The Haters, I’ve usually had enough news for one day.  And partly, it’s because I’ve become inured to news articles about pro athletes behaving badly.  I should be willing to summon up more outrage but I can’t.  The standards of conduct in professional sports have been going into the gutter for decades now.

But this, from over at Daily KOS…really gave me pause

Arianna’s ‘progressive’ celebrity pals have recently posted a slew of editorials defending the electrocution, hanging, gang rape, drowning, starvation, and systematic torture of dogs. Their reasoning? Well, through the lens of their sophistical primitivism, they seem to think it’s just plain irrational to feel anything for ‘lesser mammals’. Some have even gone so far to suggest that Vick’s crimes are some sort of appropriate karmic balance to the silliness of people putting sweaters on their dogs.

If you’re like me, you probably find it hard to believe that these views are being seriously considered among our ‘allies’ in the so-called ‘Progressive Blogosphere’, but check it out for yourself:

Lawrence O’ Donnell’s "What’s Wrong with Killing Dogs?"
Earl Ofari Hutchison’s "America’s Wildly Overblown Vick Hysteria"
Peggy Drexler’s "There’s a Fury in Canine Nation"

Huh?  Is Lawrence O’ Donnell seriously asking what’s wrong with what Michael Vick did?  Because if he is I hope the rest of his family is keeping an eye on him.  My understanding is that torturing animals is a Really Bad Sign that there’s something deeply, profoundly, sociopathically wrong inside a person’s head.  It’s something you really need to pay attention to.

I acknowledge the vegan’s retort that if you’re willing to kill animals and eat them you might as well be willing to torture them too.  I don’t find those things to be on the same psychological plane.  If I’m cruel to animals because I eat meat, then it’s a cruel world that can have my body back after I’m dead to nourish itself.  That’s in my will.  But I don’t think our flesh and blood life is essentially cruel.  It just Is.

I won’t argue that modern factory farming isn’t an abomination, let alone cruel.  I won’t argue that a lot of people who call themselves sportsmen just enjoy killing something for the sake of killing it, without a moment’s pause to reflect on how they’re just as much a part of the circle of life on earth as their food.  A human who is thoughtlessly cruel to animals has no brakes and needs to learn a thing or two about sympathy.  But a human who makes a sport out of watching animals suffer, whether they actually die or not, is dangerous.  If O’Donnell can’t figure out what the fuss is over electrocuting, hanging, drowning, starving, and sexually abusing small animals and calling that a sport, I recommend he give the matter some quality thought time, before he turns his back on the wrong person.

Oh…and before he looses his own conscience.  Over at KOS, Stroszek makes clear what the problem here is…

So yes, O’Donnell is right in his point that there is no ‘natural law’ that protects dogs, just as much as there is no natural law that protects humans. What drives people to react with disgust and horror at any immoral act is simply COMPASSION, which, sadly, seems to be more exception than ‘law’ in a society that, in just a few short years, has produced Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Prison, "Shock & Awe", and yes, Michael Vick.

We’re swimming in a cesspool of Might Makes Right here, and you need to understand that there’s no bottom to it.  We need to take a longer, closer look at where all the excuses our culture makes now for the prerogative of power are leading us.  The Greed Is Good, Power Is It’s Own Reason credo of the last couple decades has made us indifferent to cruelty.  It’s just part of the background noise in George Bush’s America.  We start viewing sadism as a normal part of our environment too, and I don’t think there is a road back from there.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Are You Seriously Asking What’s Wrong With Torturing Dogs…???

August 26th, 2007

The Tragedy Of Burned Out Hippyness

Tragically, not all of my fellow boomers made it out of the 60s and 70s sane.  Many of them are stumbling through life now, middle aged pathetic burned out shells of their former selves.  One case in point being the drooling jackass who wrote this last week in the Wall Street Journal…

The Summer of Drugs
Forty years ago, dirty, stinky hippies converged on San Francisco to "turn on, tune in and drop out."


Forty years ago hordes of stoned, dirty, stinky hippies converged on San Francisco to "turn on, tune in, and drop out," which was the calling card of LSD proponent Timothy Leary. Turned off by the work ethic and productive American Dream values of their parents, hippies instead opted for a cowardly, irresponsible lifestyle of random sex, life-destroying drugs and mostly soulless rock music that flourished in San Francisco.

Irresponsible lifestyle of random sex…did you say Ted…?

The first time that I got it
I was just ten years old
I got it from some kitty next door
I went and see the Dr. and
He gave me the cure
I think I got it some more

They give me cat scratch fever
Cat scratch fever

It’s nothin dangerous
I feel no pain
I’ve got to ch-ch-change
You know you got it when you’re going insane
It makes a grown man cryin’ cryin’
Won’t you make my bed

I make the pussy purr with
The stroke of my hand
They know they gettin’ it from me
They know just where to go
When they need their lovin man
They know I do it for free

Do it for free do you Ted?  Got it from a lady next door when you were just ten did you Ted?

That Nadine, what a teenage queen
She lookin’ so clean, especi’lly down in between; what I like

She come to town; she be foolin’ around
a puttin’ me down as a rock-and-roll clown
It’s all right

Wang Dang Sweet Poontang

Wang dang, what a sweet poontang
a shakin’ my thang as a rang-a-dang-dang in the bell

She’s so sweet when she yanks on my meat
Down on the street you know she can’t be beat
What the hell 

Wang dang Ted…

I don’t wanna hand nothin’ to ya
I just wanna sit back and do ya
Dontcha make me stand up and chase it
I just wanna lay back and taste it
Come and get it right here for you

I would never want to bore you

Come and get it
Come and get it

Come on girl and sit down beside me
Let me tell ya whats burnin’ inside me
I want you to take it
I know that you’ll like it
Sit right down and grab it and bite it

Come on girl its right here for you 

Yes…I think we can see what’s burnin’ inside of you Ted… 

Looking for trouble, looking for sex
Walking on the wild side, she’s so complex
She’s on fire, the heat is coming on
The girl’s on fire, she burns all night long
High hell sneakers
Head to toe in lace
Such a dangerous body
With a little girl’s face

Turned off by the work ethic and productive American Dream values of their parents, was it?  Well I’m sure there wasn’t a father anywhere in this country back then Ted, who wouldn’t have felt completely at ease letting you be alone with their little girl.  No random irresponsible sex for you.  With…little girls…

I with you Ted, when you morn the deaths of all those amazing talents back then.  They died way too young and it was a tragedy.  Just think where they’d be now if they had lived on.  For one thing, I don’t think Hendrix or Joplin or Morrison would be writing editorials for the Wall Street Journal.  I mean…just try to picture it.  Would John Lennon be writing for the Wall Street Journal?  Would the Wall Street Journal let John Lennon fucking anywhere near it’s pages?  But then it wasn’t drugs that killed Lennon…it was some burned out lunatic with a gun.

And speaking of burned out lunatics with guns… 

I was in Chicago last week I said, "Hey Obama, you might  want to suck on one of these, you punk?" Obama, he’s a piece of shit and I told him to suck on one of my machine guns. Let’s hear it for them. I was in New York and I said, "Hey Hillary, you might want to ride one of these into the sunset you worthless bitch." Since I’m in California, I’m gonna find Barbara Boxer she might wanna suck on my machine guns. Hey, Dianne Feinstein, ride one of these you worthless whore.

I can understand why you’re so pissed off Ted.  I can understand why you hate all the dirty hippies.  Hendrix…Joplin…Cass Elliot…Jim Morrison…John Lennon…  They’re still taking the spotlight away from you, aren’t they?  Their music lives on generation after generation…long after their pointless deaths.  Kids who were born long after they’d died are still groovin’ to their music…and you still can’t raise your act much higher then the gutter trash crowd.

You understand why that is…don’t you Ted.  In a world where Hendrix can still sing Foxy Lady to us, why would anyone want to listen to a burned out lunatic belching Kiss My Ass

I believe in animal rights
I let my dog hump on my shin

Right.  Whatever.  You’re howling out abuse at the hippies so you won’t have to face the fact that if it wasn’t for the greats who took rock and roll from the back streets to Woodstock you wouldn’t have a stage to prance around with your…machine gun.  You’d be just another long haired weirdo with a guitar and an open guitar case on the sidewalk in front of him with a little card in it asking for spare change.  I mean…it certainly isn’t your music your audience comes to you for now is it…?

Oh look…a naked woman tied up and served on a platter like a pig, with a hand grenade in her mouth.  So nice of the Wall Street Journal to give you a forum to bitch about hippies, drugs, cowardly irresponsible lifestyles of random sex, and…soulless music. 

There is a saying that if you can remember the 1960s, you were not there. I was there and remember the decade in vivid, ugly detail. I remember its toxic underbelly excess because I was caught in the vortex of the music revolution that was sweeping the country, and because my radar was fine-tuned thanks to a clean and sober lifestyle.

So tell us Ted, what this clean and sober lifestyle has to do with naked ladies bound on silver platters and gaged with hand grenades.  And…does being clean and sober help much for getting on stage and announcing to the world that you want a black man and three white women to suck on your…machine gun? Wow…it must have been awful…simply awful…getting all caught up in that toxic underbelly of excess back then.  Good thing you made it out of there clean and sober.  Every father would want his son to grow up clean and sober…


It’s really cute how the Wall Street Journal ends your editorial with "Mr. Nugent  is a rock star releasing his 35th album, "Love Grenade," this summer."  Perhaps they should have put a photo of the cover art there too.  Or one of these souvenir stickers they’re selling now on eBay… 

I’m picturing you looking at the cover art for your new album, and thanking your lucky stars that you weren’t caught up in any toxic underbellies of excess…

…and I’ll take what all those Haight-Ashbury hippies gave the world over this ugly shock jock crap any day.  See…the hippies shocked the establishment, but they weren’t About shocking the establishment.  They rejected the empty values and broken promises of the 50s…they were reaching for something they really thought was a better place.  You just want to shock.  And the problem with shock is that it gets old.  People get used to it.  So to stay in the spotlight, you have to keep ratcheting it up…increasing the dose.

…which makes you the drug Ted.  You and all the other shock jocks who’ve been busy ever since the Reagan years, dragging America into the gutter for money.  Rush Limbaugh…Michael Savage…Don Imus…  You.  You’re no Hendrix.  You’re no Morrison.  You’re no Joplin.  You’re sure as shit no John Lennon.  Drugs may have killed some of the best musical talent of my generation Ted, but they left behind a little beauty and wonder for the rest of us and for generations to come, and that’s something you’ll never be able to say on your deathbed.  You’re the symptom of cultural decay Ted.  You’re one drop of the heroin coursing through America’s veins now.  You give your customers a quick little high, a cheap little thrill, and when you’re done with them they’re a little less then they were before. 

Wang dang, what a sweet poontang

I’m gonna find Barbara Boxer she might wanna suck on my machine guns…

…and your wallet is a little bigger.  How fitting that you’re in the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal, so soon after Rupert Murdoch bought it.

[Update…]  Via Harp I learn that Nugent’s new album has a cover of the old Amboy Duke’s psychedelic hit Journey To The Center Of The Mind.  A quick visit to the CD listing on Amazon.Com confirms it.  This is rich…

The Amboy Dukes, some of us still recall, was the 60s band Nugent made a name for himself in.  Sweet.  Here we have Nugent bellyaching in the Wall Street Journal about the 60s drug culture, and hippies and LSD and how "the bodies of chemical-infested, brain-dead liberal deniers continue to stack up like cordwood"…and the album he’s releasing this month has a cover of one of the quintessential songs of that period, and that culture.  Christ…I’ve heard of playing both sides of the street, but this is really brazen.

by Bruce | Link | React! (1)

August 24th, 2007

That Vast Wasteland That Is Our News Media…(continued)

I know someone who lives in Orlando…someone very special to me.  So I pay attention when I see headlines about that city…

1 In 2 Men In Downtown Orlando Have Guns On Weekends, Police Vet Says


ORLANDO, Fla. — Guns are so prevalent in Orlando that 50 percent of the young men in the downtown area on weekends are carrying them or have access to them in a vehicle, according to a 20-year police veteran.

"There are always guns involved, in just about every call," Orlando police veteran Derwin Bradley said. "Out of every two guys walking down the street, one of them will have a gun."

Bradley said he has to assume most of the young men are armed.

Okay…now…wait a minute…  Is it one in two men in downtown Orlando…or one in two Young men…? 

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on That Vast Wasteland That Is Our News Media…(continued)

August 23rd, 2007

Oh…Look At The Stars…!

I guess I can blab about this now…since it’s been made public…  Perhaps you’ve heard of Google Earth.  Have you ever wondered what Google Sky might look like?

Wonder no more…

Google puts universe online

Sky at Google Earth, which made its debut in cyberspace early yesterday, turns Googlers around and aims their eyes toward the heavens, with user-friendly tools for navigating and zooming deep into the skies of both the Northern and Southern hemispheres.

In the background there are 100 million individual stars and 200 million galaxies. They’re not randomly generated dots, but real, digitized photos — a million of them — stitched seamlessly together from some of the world’s most complete sky surveys.

Astronomers at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore have added 127 high-resolution digital photographs from the Hubble Space Telescope. They’ve spent months patching them all into Google’s sky at their proper zoomable distances and precisely in position.

"It’s a very interesting tool to allow people, as never before, to browse the sky," said Alberto Conti, an institute astronomer and development manager for the institute’s Community Missions Office, which works to make Hubble’s discoveries accessible to the public.

Because of light pollution, he said, lots of people, especially in East Coast cities like Baltimore and New York, "have never really seen the sky." With Google Sky’s software, they can "explore things they could never see with their own eyes, or things they probably would not see in a planetarium."

More overlays, or "mashups," available to Sky users can reveal the constellations, and identify stars and planets visible from their backyards. Sky can also forecast the positions of the moon and planets two months in advance.

"I’m looking forward to people adding asteroids, and things that are moving — a lot of comets, you name it," Conti said. Just like Google Earth itself, Sky will allow users to form communities of common interest, and add their own images and lists of interesting sights.

This has been in the works for a while and it’s wonderful, the potential even more vast then with Google Earth.  Imagine being able to view any part of the sky above, as only the most powerful telescopes humankind ever possessed can.  Imagine zooming into a section of sky and viewing it in different wavelengths of light, or watching stellar events unfold over a time selectable period.  Watch the light echo from V838 Monocerotis expand into the distant shells of its own cast-off matter.  View the galaxies in various wavelengths, to pinpoint the regions of active star birth.  Wander among distant galaxies near the dawn of time.

Now you can. 

Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return.
And we can, because the Cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star stuff.
-Carl Sagan

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Oh…Look At The Stars…!

August 22nd, 2007

Woodward Class of 72 Reunion This November

The Class of 72 Reunion Committee is working on plans for a 35th year reunion sometime this November.  I’m on the committee, and I’ll be posting regular notices and forwarding reunion committee updates here between now and November in hopes that either another classmate will see it, or someone who knows someone…(etc, etc…).  Rounding up our stray cats is a bit like detective work. 

Mostly right now we need contact info.  Send email to if you’re interested, or know someone who is, or if you have any contact information you think might be helpful.  If you think you know of other good places to post this notice send that to me.  Thanks!

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Woodward Class of 72 Reunion This November

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