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Archive for April, 2008

April 29th, 2008

You Don’t Know What You Have Until It’s Gone

…or Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder. Traveler is in the shop right now for repairs to its rear bumper (described in This Post). They’re saying two to three days. Maybe. I’ve been driving Traveler now for a half year. I suppose it was too much to ask that the rental car the other guy’s insurance company gave me was an ‘E’ class. Another ‘C’ would have been nice. What I got was a Volkswagon Jetta.

The warning a friend gave me shortly after I bought the Mercedes…how it would change my idea of what normal is…has kept popping into my thoughts every time I sit down behind the wheel and drive. At some logical analytical level I thought I understood this. When I bought the Mercedes, I started living in a different world. I knew that when I sat down in it the first time. And at that rational logical level it has not been hard to remember all these weeks. The car is so goddamned tight, yet it handles like a dream. I Know no other car I’ve ever owned has been as well made as this one is. But as time goes on I also knew I was starting to take it for granted.

Never mind…just never mind…all the nifty gizmos the Mercedes came equipped with. Never mind how much of its engineering seemed specifically designed to entrance a geek. I just learned the other day for example, that the headlights operate at a higher wattage level when you accelerate to highway speeds. Never mind all that. Traveler is way more solid, and way better fitted together then any other car I have ever owned or driven. That was what I bought it for. That solid, vault-like Mercedes feel. I thought I was aware of how used to it I was becoming. But it wasn’t until the nice lady with Enterprise Rental Cars introduced me to my rental Jetta that I realized how different my idea of normal had become in just six months.

I got in. I tried to make myself comfortable in the driver’s seat. I knew there probably wouldn’t be any power seat adjustments and there weren’t. Fine. This isn’t a luxury car…it’s a practical one. I reached down under the seat for the adjustment lever…found it, and set the distance from the steering wheel. Then I found the backrest adjuster and fixed the tilt of the backrest. There was, of course, no height adjustment. Fine…fine…I can live with this. I found the controls to adjust the sideview mirrors. Then I fixed the tilt of the rearview mirror. I got everything adjusted to suit my particular physical size and shape. Then I sat there for a moment, and looked around the cabin.

Wow…this isn’t…right…

I drove the Jetta out of the parking lot at Valley Motors and as soon as I put it into gear I knew what I was missing. The car felt…a tad rickety. And at a rational level I know that’s not fair. It’s just…my baseline has changed profoundly. The Jetta, let it be said, is not a poorly built car by any means. At a glance it seems as well made as your average sub compact Honda or Toyota. Since it’s a rental car it’s not exactly pristine on the inside. But it’s feel is no less solid then my Geo Prism or the Accord and I loved those cars. It’s a tad noisier then the Accord but still, the Jetta is a very nice car. And I’d have died to own anything half as good back when I couldn’t afford to own even a $500 junker. But what a world of difference with the Mercedes. The Mercedes really is like a goddamned vault compared to the Jetta.

I’ve been stealing glances at the ‘E’ class lately and I’d forgotten how good I have it. My friend warned me about that too. But now I have a cure for it. Whenever I catch myself seriously considering trading Traveler in for an ‘E’ class when I get it paid off, I’ll just go rent a car for a day or two. A nice Accord or a Camry. A really nice one. That should cure me of it.

In the meantime…here’s a nice C300 review from a British gent who really gives the new ‘C’ a lot of love. What really impressed me about that is the old, well used, Mercedes wagon he owns and is apparently still devoted to. It’s those folks, the ones who remember how rock solid Mercedes use to build them, that the company needs to win back. And it looks like this new ‘C’ is doing that.

[Edited a tad…]

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on You Don’t Know What You Have Until It’s Gone


The Dude Looks Like A Lady Glam Session

I won’t be posting much for the next couple of days I think.  I’m in a VMWare seminar all day at work, so when I come home it’s mostly the regular work I couldn’t do during the day, plus some commitments I have regarding photographs I took at The Academy’s Miss Gaye Universe DC Ball.  No…not the ones in that link…those were taken by the working photographer for Metro Weekly.  Look closely and you’ll find a rare sighting of Bruce Garrett in a Tux.  I was invited by some friends to play paparazzi at the event…my first ever Drag Show.  Ironically, I had to wear a tux as it was a black tie event.  So in a sense I was in drag myself.  But my friends all said I looked good and I had a great time.  But now I have hundreds of photographs to sort through and get ready to show some people and that’s taking much of my free time this week. 

I’m also working on getting a bunch of my old Woodward photos ready to send to one of my classmates on the reunion committee.  We’ve been promising the folks who attended our 35th reunion a DVD for months now and we need to get it out to them.

And on top of all that, I’ve been working on creating a CD of some old photos I talked a certain someone back in high school into taking.  He gave me the roll of film back to develop and I gave him back a contact sheet and some prints but somehow the actual negatives never made it back to him and I’ve been waiting for years, decades literally, to do that.  Some of the shots he took turned out very good and I wanted to give him a nice CD with the scans in it along with the negatives so he could print them out on his computer if he wanted to.

So…I’ve been a busy photographer lately, which is rare for me.  So posting here is going to be sporadic…I think…for a little while.  I have hundreds of photographs of some amazing, just amazing, drag queens to sort through..one of whom made my jaw just drop to the floor and I never thought that would ever happen.  Let’s hear it for gender bending…

 

  

 

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on The Dude Looks Like A Lady Glam Session

April 28th, 2008

Moral Judgements Are Easy When God Is Always On Your Side

On Box Turtle Bulletin I had a very brief argument with someone named David who could not believe that a fundamentalist crackpot once told me on Usenet that the Golden Rule gave him the right to harass gay people.  David assured me that he had argued with them over on BeliefNet over the course of many years and never once encountered such an argument and asked me to provide him with an example.  Which I did after a very quick scan of my Usenet archives.

The fundamentalist’s argument went something like this: "If I was engaging in self destructive behavior I would want someone to rescue me from it, even if I fought it at the time because I would thank them later."  David assured me that such a stupid argument was "easily refuted".  And yes, it is.  But if fundamentalists were willing to listen to reason and logic we wouldn’t still be arguing over evolution in this country, let alone the human status of gay people.  That David could find it "easy" to refute a fundamentalist about anything made me wonder how often David every really argued with any.

I was thinking about that reading This Story over at the New York Times about an atheist soldier who is currently suing the department of defense over violations of his religious freedom by officers and other soldiers.  This follows years of horror stories of military personnel being subjected to forced proselytizing by evangelicals in the ranks.  Not all of the victims, as the Times story notes, are atheists.  In fact most of them are other Christians who were deemed to be not Christian enough for their tormentors…

In an e-mail statement, Bill Carr, the Defense Department’s deputy under secretary for military personnel policy, said he “saw near universal compliance with the department’s policy.”

But Mikey Weinstein, a retired Air Force judge advocate general and founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, said the official statistics masked the great number of those who do not report violations for fear of retribution. Since the Air Force Academy scandal began in 2004, Mr. Weinstein said, he has been contacted by more than 5,500 service members and, occasionally, military families about incidents of religious discrimination. He said 96 percent of the complainants were Christians, and the majority of those were Protestants.

Emphasis mine.  When faith has degenerated into certainty you have lost all your brakes.  You have become God’s own right hand and gods don’t feel shame.  Or to put it another way…

After his run-in with Major Welborn, Specialist Hall did not file a complaint with the Army’s Equal Opportunity Office because, he said, he was mistrustful of his superior officers. Instead, he told leaders of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, who put him in touch with Mr. Weinstein. In November 2007, Specialist Hall was sent home early from Iraq after being repeatedly threatened by other soldiers. “I caution you that although your ‘legal’ issues are yours and yours alone, I have heard many people disagree with you, and this may be a cause for some of the perceived threats,” wrote Sgt. Maj. Kevin Nolan in Specialist Hall’s counseling for his departure.

Though with a different unit now at Fort Riley, Specialist Hall said the backlash had continued. He has a no-contact order with a sergeant who, without provocation, threatened to “bust him in the mouth.” Another sergeant allegedly told Specialist Hall that as an atheist, he was not entitled to religious freedom because he had no religion.

Emphasis mine.  This is the mindset by which the Golden Rule becomes a license to do whatever you damn well please to your neighbor.  This is the mindset by which putting a knife into the hopes and dreams of gay people becomes a form of love.  There is no reasoning with this.  It’s not that God is on their side, it’s that God is the face in the mirror.  Good is whatever you decide it is.  Evil is other people.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Moral Judgements Are Easy When God Is Always On Your Side

April 27th, 2008

True Friends

A couple of very dear friends tried to do something for me over the weekend that I’ve tried to do a time or two for other friends, mostly straight, but which nobody has ever bothered to do for me before.  I can’t go into detail now…maybe some day soon…but I’ve never felt so loved.  And even though they didn’t quite manage to pull it off just the fact that they did it it made me feel more alive now, more connected with the life I have, and the things I’ve managed to accomplish for myself, then I have since I was in my twenties.  Seriously.  I’ve been a sleep walker for most of the last half of my life it seems.  I feel somewhat awakened now.  More…real.

Life is sweet.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on True Friends

April 24th, 2008

Conservative Days Of Silence

The anti-gay religious right is mounting Yet Another protest against the Day Of Silence, itself a protest against anti-gay violence in schools.  First it was the misnamed Day Of Truth.  Now it’s the Golden Rule Day.  Jim Burroway over at Box Turtle Bulletin writes about the competing religious right activity, and sums it up pretty thoroughly here

More than a year ago, I attended a Love Won Out conference in Phoenix put on jointly by Exodus International and Focus On the Family. That’s where I heard Focus’s Mike Haley address anti-LGBT violence in a Q&A session:

I think, too, we also have to be just as quick to also stand up when we do see the gay and lesbian community being come against as the Body of Christ. We need to be the first to speak out to say that what happened to Matthew Shepard was a terrible incident and should never happen again. And that we within the Body of Christ are wanting to protect that community and put our money where our mouth is…

That was a real “Wow!” moment for me. I thought finally, someone gets it. I can’t tell you how encouraged I was to hear Mike Haley say that. It was an ultimate Golden Rule moment. And I can’t begin to describe how disappointed I’ve been since then.

One year later, Lawrence King was killed in cold blood on February 12 in front of his teachers and classmates. Since then, conservative Christians leaders have celebrated seventy-three consecutive Days of Silence.

Emphasis mine.  You should go read the whole thing.  Day of Silence?  How about seventy-three Days of Silence after a 15 year old gay boy was shot in the head. 

That says it all.  Can we please stop talking about their "sincerely held religious beliefs" now?  This isn’t about faith.  This isn’t about how much they love God.  It’s about how much they hate us. 

by Bruce | Link | React! (2)

April 23rd, 2008

Marriage Is…Er…Whatever It Needs To Be To Exclude The Gays

Via SLOG…

Crickets

posted by on April 23 at 8:47 AM

Slog reader Price makes a good point about the FLDS saga—DNA tests to determine whose kids are whose are underway—in Eldorado, Texas. These polygamists have been all over cable news and the front pages of American newspapers for weeks now. Says Price…

WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE?

Where’s the outrage from the “marriage should be between one man and one woman” crowd about this nonsense in Eldorado? You’d think they would be up in arms about this. Aren’t these people DESTROYING all marraige for normal straight couples

When I was in South Carolina before that state’s primary for Real Time with Bill Maher, I asked a religious conservative—a supporter of Mike Huckabee—who was the bigger sinner: a gay man married to one man or a polygamist married to a hundred women. He didn’t even hesitate: the gay man. You hear very little from the one-man-and-one-woman shriekers for the same reason you heard so little from them during the decades straight people spent redefining marriage for themselves. After straight people redefined marriage to a point that it no longer made any logical sense to exclude same-sex couples from the institution’s rights and responsibilities, suddenly marriage had to be defended from the gays. Activists that want to “save marriage” have never been motivated by what they’re for (one man and one woman) but what they’re against (gay sex, love, desire, etc.).

This has been another edition of What Dan Savage Said.  Can we stop talking about the sincerely held religious beliefs of the anti-gay opposition now?

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Marriage Is…Er…Whatever It Needs To Be To Exclude The Gays

April 22nd, 2008

The Danger Of Passive Drinking… Wait…What…?

I saw the headlines passing through my news readers regarding "passive drinking" this morning and I took it to mean some kind of social drinking situation where people who aren’t really drinkers and don’t much like alcohol drink anyway for the sake of socializing and fitting in.  But…no.  Via Dan Savage over at SLOG…

First They Came for the Smokers…

…and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a smoker blah blah blah.

Actually, the Stranger did speak up: We urged a “no” vote on Washington state’s smoking ban because of its unenforceable (and largely unenforced) 25ft rule. We did, however, endorse the concept of a smoking ban. It was a perfect Stranger position on a controversial issue: We managed to piss off everybody. Anti-smoking crusaders were furious that we urged a “no” vote and smokers were furious that we endorsed the concept. Yahtzee!

Well, anyway, just as some outraged nicotine addicts predicted in our comments threads… now they’re coming for the drinkers.

The campaigns to combat the effects of “passive smoking” are widely credited for Europe’s growing number of smoking bans. Now alcohol is in the sights of the public health lobbyists, and they have invented the concept of “passive drinking” as their killer argument.

I have seen a leaked draft report for the European Commission, which is due to be published some time in June. It makes claims about the high environmental or social toll of alcohol, the “harm done by someone else’s drinking.” The report is likely to inform proposals for a European Union alcohol strategy later this year.

Uh-oh.

Er…haven’t we already been down this road once…?

  
 



Well…"passive drinking" does have a more scientific sound to it then DEMON RUM…

You have to reckon the object is, as for tobacco, to ban the product without actually…you know…banning it.  Because a ban would be unenforceable and create more crime and cost the America billions in wasted money and wasted lives, whereas simply making it illegal to use the product anywhere won’t be a ban as such and won’t cause any of the horrific social problems that the war on drugs certainly has not caused…or that Prohibition never caused…

  
 

In the meantime I’m going to engage in a little passive resistance and go out for a smoke and then come back home and pour myself some Kahlua…  Burn in hell Carrie…

 

by Bruce | Link | React! (1)


Spring 2008 Is Here…Finally…

I’ve been waiting for it for about three weeks now.  The weather started getting pretty warm last week, but it wasn’t spring yet.  The blossoms started coming out in force last weekend, but that wasn’t it either.  I had to mow my lawn for the first time since fall, but that wasn’t it.  My Japanese maple tree is almost fully leafed now, but that wasn’t it either.  It’s shirt sleeve weather more often then not, and I’ve had the furnace off for over a week now.  It was warm enough to put the deck furniture out and the garden hoses out finally.  But that wasn’t it.  All the neighbor’s tulips were out in force last Sunday but that wasn’t it.  These were all merely signs that it was coming.  But when I got to the office yesterday and parked Traveler I looked around for spring and it still hadn’t arrived.  I was beginning to wonder if it would get here before the end of April.

It happened this morning.  The Institute swallows are back, suddenly, sassing the sparrows, busily fussing with their nests which have been empty all fall and winter, and darting in and out of the parking garage to feed.

It’s spring now.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Spring 2008 Is Here…Finally…


The Problem Is Joe, Hate Is 98 Percent Of It

Joe Brummer asks a perfectly reasonable question: "What does opposition to homosexuality minus the hate look like?

Many times on this site, I have offered to anti-gay Christians the idea that they could still oppose homosexuality without spewing hate or contributing to the culture of violence that exists for gay people. I still truly believe that can be done. I would like to start offering some concrete suggestions that anti-gay, Christian organizations could use to oppose homosexuality but without the hate speech.

But then he goes a little further…

I would appreciate pro-gay folks taking a moment to empathize with those who are oppose gay rights and give them some concrete requests to how they can voice religious opposition to homosexuality and gay marriage without promoting violence or hate toward gays. Understanding that some people believe homosexuality is against their religion, not everyone who voices opposition to us is a religious extremist. Some people just hold different beliefs. Perhaps we can talk about better ways to voice those beliefs and even run organizations that lobby for anti-gay rights groups without hate.

I have several problems with this Joe.  Thirdly, you shouldn’t assume that us "pro-gay" folks haven’t tried…hard…to understand what is motivating the opposition.  Do not assume that its easier to write off the opposition as malicious and hateful unless you’ve looked, really looked, into that Pit called Hate.  There is nothing easy about walking up to that terrible edge, and looking in.  There is nothing easy about having to go on living with what you saw.  Nietzsche was right about the danger of gazing into an abyss.  

Secondly, opposition to some things, like same sex marriage, is predicated upon the very dehumanization of gay people you’re asking them to refrain from.  There is just no way to oppose same sex marriage while upholding opposite sex marriage without dehumanizing gay people first.  It’s one thing to assert that marriage is essentially a religious rite and another to oppose even civil unions, let alone civil marriage.  A lot of deeply religious people see the difference there perfectly well.   The problem is that haters tend give their principle objection to same sex marriage a religious gloss to prevent people from actually looking right at it and seeing it for what it is. 

If atheists can marry in ceremonies utterly bereft of any acknowledgment of God, then what, really, is the objection?  It isn’t religious.  It’s constitutional in the sense that they regard same sex relationships as a perversion of normal love.  That’s what is being said in the opposition to same sex marriage.  They’re not objecting to sinners marrying in sin.  Someone else’s sin does not defile their own marriages or every 24 hour church in Las Vegas would have been closed down decades ago.  Sinners are free to marry every day of the year as long as it’s to a person of the opposite sex.  What the haters have been saying, unambiguously for decades now, is that letting gay couples marry defiles their own marriages.  By making a mockery of their feelings for one another.  Because homosexuals are incapable of those same feelings.  Because all we can do, as Orson Scott Card once put it, is play at house. 

Witness their insistence lately on that so-called complementary essence of heterosexual unions.  Really look at it.  What they’re saying is we don’t even have genuine sex, let alone authentically love the person in our arms.  What they’re saying is that by calling our damaged, degenerate, empty assignations marriages we are mocking, deliberately mocking, their authentic humanity.  That is not about sin, it’s about how they regard gay people as subhuman deviants.  Perverts.  Degenerates.  That is what we are to them, and that is the basis for their opposition to same sex marriage, or they wouldn’t be using the language of defilement to describe their opposition.  Two heterosexual drunks getting married after having sex in a Las Vegas hotel doesn’t devalue marriage.  Two sober homosexuals claiming to love and cherish one another just like heterosexuals do does.  You are asking them to stop dehumanizing gay people in their opposition to same sex marriage when the bedrock of that opposition is how thoroughly they’ve dehumanized us.

But my first and biggest problem with your suggestion is that the folks who aren’t extremists have never acted toward us in hateful ways.  There are many devout people out there who aren’t waging kulturkampf against us but are simply and sincerely, if misguidedly, trying to steer us away from what they regard as sin.  They aren’t lobbying against us in the statehouses and in Washington.  They aren’t flinging mud at us, at our relationships, at our homes, at our hearts.  They are instead, offering us a kind of hospitality.  The "Good News" as they say.  But that hospitality is hard to see beneath all the static the religious right is throwing out into the public discourse.

We don’t need to give those folks any of this advice because they know it all instinctively.  And…this is important…they know it instinctively because They Can See The People For The Homosexuals.  We are not some faceless other to them.  We are not monsters.  We are their neighbors.  We are human beings to them, as real and as human as they.  They have always known this, and they have always treated us as they would treat any neighbor in this life.

Joe…I think you should look…really look…at the advice you are giving the ones you think should hear it, and ask yourself in all seriousness, what sort of person needs to be told any of this…

…start talking about anti-gay violence and condemning it very vocally…

…be sure your information is balanced and based on PEER REVIEWED research…

…If your message is truly about “reaching out” to gays and lesbians than stay away from calling us insulting and dehumanizing names like sodomite and militant…

…Promote youth safety.  If you are opposed to teaching about homosexuality in schools or anti-bullying campaigns that include homosexuality as a subject, then you damn well better have a solution to offer that stops the violence and shame that makes life miserable for these kids…

…Gays and lesbians want the same things out of life that you do. I cannot and will not believe that you unable to come up with ways to present your message without the barrage of negative pictures of gays and lesbians…

…Gays and lesbians really are reasonable human beings. Have you ever thought of setting up some meetings with your organization and pro-gay organizations to see what you can work on together and what you can agree on…

…The only reason this is a “war” is because you continue to promote it as one. If you promoted it as a collaboration or a disagreement, then it would be that instead of a war…

…Admit it when someone on your side just goes too far. Comparing us to terrorist went too far…

…We would appreciate it if you could acknowledge that our requests are valid requests even if you disagree with what we want. There is no secret agenda. We want equality and safety…

…Lastly, vow yourself and your organization to abandon myths about homosexuality, especially the one about us choosing to be gay. No one chooses to be gay. Each time you say that you minimize the whole issue to a simple choice and if it were so simple, I wouldn’t be writing this list of requests right now…

Exodus has been saying out of both sides of its mouth for years how "thousands have made the choice to leave homosexuality" and at the same time when asked to back that up with some cold hard facts admits that it is not, as you say, so simple after all.  Do you think they cannot hear themselves talking out of both sides of their mouths? 

Who needs this advice Joe?  No one who would actually take it is who.  You are looking for good faith where there is none.  What does opposition to homosexuality minus the hate look like?  Well I’ve seen it…rarely…but I’ve seen it, and it looks like hospitality.  Nothing more.  Nothing less. 

I would also ask pro-gay folks to try their best to frame their request in Positive Actions Language. In other words, ask people what you DO want them to do, not what you DON’T want them to do.

I want them to get off my back.  I want them to get the hell out of my garden.  I want them to finally one day look at themselves in a mirror and die of that shame they’ve been running away from ever since they sold their soul to hate because it was easier then living in a world where other people are happy and content.  That positive enough?

[Edited a tad…]

by Bruce | Link | React! (5)


Life In Cheatsville

So I’m reading this story about some Italian jackass former football general manager bloviating about gays in football…

Moggi: Gays Should Be Banned From Football

The 70-year-old was widely regarded as the best transfer guru in Serie A before he received a five-year ban from football in the summer of 2006 for his alleged role in the Calciopoli scandal.  

Despite being out of the game Moggi still regularly has his say on current affairs, and he has had some controversial things to say about homosexuals.  

“I don’t know if footballers are against gays in the team, I certainly am,” he stated.  

“I can quietly confirm that, in the clubs where I have been, I have never had them, never.

“I would never have wanted a homosexual player. Even today I wouldn’t buy one. Supposing I were to make a mistake and I found one of them, he would be the first to go.

“I am a little old-fashioned. But I know the football world and its insides. You cannot live within it as a gay. A homosexual cannot be a footballer.  

“In calcio there are no homosexuals, neither between players nor among directors. It’s not racism, its fact. Football has a particular environment; you get naked in the dressing room.

“I have no gay friends. I go out with other people. But I have to say that homosexuals are very intelligent people, they have the capacity to see things differently.” 

Like…honestly…?

Moggi: I Defended Juve

Former Juventus general manager Luciano Moggi has again stated that he was the only person to defend the club before, during and after the Calciopoli crisis.

Moggi was one of Calcio’s shrewdest transfer gurus up until the Calciopoli crisis in the summer of 2006.  

The 70-year-old received a five-year ban from football for his alleged role in the scandal, meaning that he cannot return until 2011, by which time he will be 74.  

Moggi has always maintained that Calciopoli was a conspiracy, involving Inter Milan, as well as other important figures.  

“I looked to defend a business that, in practice, had no parents. Gianni and Umberto Agnelli died and Juventus were left without a father or a mother,” he explained.

“We didn’t have the funds because shareholders weren’t putting money into the club and we didn’t have the television on our side. We were a step behind the others.

“RAI was of Roma and we won’t speak of who Sky and Mediaset belong to. We had to make do with what we had and look strong even if we weren’t.”

Moggi has always been painted as something of a shady and mysterious figure, but he says this is an unfair assessment. “I was arrogant, but it is not a crime,” he said.  

No…but fixing football games is, isn’t it?  Here’s the Wiki entry on what they’re referring to in that article as the "Calciopoli crisis"…

2006 Italian football scandal

The 2006 Italian football scandal (Italian more common names: Calciopoli or Moggiopoli, sometimes referred to as Calciocaos) involved alleged match fixing in Italy’s top professional football leagues, Serie A and Serie B. The scandal was uncovered in May 2006 by Italian police, implicating league champions Juventus, and other major teams including A.C. Milan, Fiorentina, Lazio, and Reggina when a number of telephone interceptions showed a thick network of relations between team managers and referee organisations. Juventus were the champions of Serie A at the time. The teams have been accused of rigging games by selecting favourable referees.

The scandal first came to light as a consequence of investigations of Naples prosecutors on the Italian football agency GEA world. Transcripts of recorded telephone conversations published in Italian newspapers suggested that during the 2004-05 season, Juventus general manager Luciano Moggi had conversations with several officials of Italian football to influence referee appointment. The name Calciopoli is a pun on Tangentopoli, [rough English translation:Bribesville], a corruption-based attitude starting in the early 80s and ending with the Mani Pulite investigation in the early 90s, led by, among others, Antonio di Pietro. Another very common name for Calciopoli is Moggiopoli after the name of Luciano Moggi. Also Calciogate, a pun on Watergate, is used. Calcio means football in Italian.

So here’s a guy babbling about how gays should be banned from football, who has himself been banned from the game for fixing games.  How…unsurprising.  I doubt he was cheating for money so much as to stand in the winner’s circle as though he’d actually earned his place there and not cheated his way to it.  That’s exactly how bigots go through life.  A genuine crook will, when caught, take some smirking pride in putting one over on you.  A bigot will deny how they tilted the scales and fixed the game to the very end, insisting that they’re perfectly honorable and respectable people and endlessly pass the blame for the damage they do onto someone else.  It’s not about having the trophy, it’s about knowing deep down inside what a runt you are and bitterly resenting anyone and everyone who can achieve that which you cannot, and fixing the game as a way of revenge.

by Bruce | Link | React! (1)


Fit To Wear The Uniform

I see that keeping gay people out of the military has allowed it to maintain it’s high standards…

Double number of ex-cons join the US army

The US army doubled its use of "moral waivers" for enlisted soldiers last year to cope with the demands of the Iraq war, allowing sex offenders, people convicted of making terrorist threats, and child abusers into the military, new records released yesterday showed.

The army gave out 511 moral waivers to soldiers with felony convictions last year. Criminals got 249 army waivers in 2006, a sign that the demand for US forces in Iraq has forced a sharp increase in the number of criminals allowed on the battlefield.

The felons accepted into the army and marines included 87 soldiers convicted of assault or maiming, 130 convicted of non-cannabis-related drug offences, seven convicted of making terrorist threats, and two convicted of indecent behaviour with a child. Waivers were also granted to 500 burglars and thieves, 19 arsonists and nine sex offenders.

Emphasis mine.   Ascribe goes into more detail

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., April 21 (AScribe Newswire) — New information released today by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee shows that in 2006 and 2007 Americans who were convicted of serious crimes including sexual offences, manslaughter, "terrorist threats including bomb threats", burglary, kidnapping or abduction, aggravated assault and sexual assault were allowed into the military under moral waivers granted by the services.

According to the data given to the committee by the Department of Defense, the Army allowed the most waivers in 2006 and 2007. During this period, moral or felony waivers were given to 3 soldiers who had been convicted of manslaughter. One soldier was allowed in following a kidnapping or abduction conviction, 11 were convicted of arson, 142 convicted of burglary, 3 who were convicted of indecent acts or liberties with a child, 7 who were convicted of rape, sexual assault, criminal sexual assault, incest or other sex crimes and 3 who were convicted of terrorist threats including bomb threats.

So…let me get this straight.  Letting gay people serve will harm the moral and readiness of our armed forces…but allowing child molesters and rapists to wear the uniform won’t.  Look at this.  No…really look at it.  The leaders of the armed forces of the United States of America would really rather be saluted by rapists and child molesters then by a homosexual.  

Well…this explains why Iraq is pretty much FUBAR doesn’t it?  It wasn’t just Rumsfeld and Bush.  They had help running our military into the ground from all the country club thugs in the pentagon executive suites.  And it explains all this too…

 

 

 

All the culture warriors, all the fine culture warriors who fought to keep gay people out of the armed forces…  All the righteous men and women of high moral standards and values…  And in the end they turned out to be nothing more then a pack of street thugs, dragging America into their gutter…into that open sewer they call virtue…

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Fit To Wear The Uniform


A Cancer On Society

Sally Kern says homosexuality is a cancer on society.  But it isn’t.  This is the cancer.

Man brags about spreading AIDS

A man has posted videos on YouTube in which he claims to have deliberately infected thousands of women with AIDS.

The masked man – who calls himself “Trashman” and speaks with an American accent in a series of clips posted on the video-sharing website – claims to have infected between 1200 and 1500 women with the disease.

In the videos, Trashman reads the names and ages of some of the women he claims to have had unprotected sex with.

President of People Living with HIV/AIDS Victoria, Brett Hayhoe, said the man seemed genuine.

AIDS is contracted only once a person has been infected with HIV but Mr Hayhoe said the man may have lumped the two together.

“It’s extremely disturbing (and) the guy needs psychiatric help,” Mr Heyhoe said.

The videos – one of which has been viewed 195,000 times – also feature a web address to a “gangsta” portal filled with pornography and where Trashman has a profile.

In the first video, Trashman reads from a list of women he claims to have infected.

“Today I’m doing a show about something that’s more important than killing rappers,” he says.

“This here (piece of paper) that I hold in my hand is a list of women who I actually infected with AIDS on purpose.

“So if I call your name and if you just happen to be on my ‘I got the AIDS from that nigger’ list’, then God bless you.”

He then goes on to name several women and how old they are.

Mr Hayhoe said if Trashman was telling the truth, it would be “absolutely devastating” for anyone who has had sex with him.

“For someone to hear that on a YouTube video is just disgusting,” Mr Hayhoe said.

“To have your name yelled out would be shattering.”

Google, the owner of YouTube, has been contacted for comment.

Indifference is a cancer on society Sally.  Greed is a cancer on society.  Not ambition, which is self actualizing, but greed which only wants to take what others have.  When your neighbors in this life have become nothing more to you then a means to an end, nothing more then stepping stones to your idea of paradise, then you have become the cancer.  Trashman is your face in the mirror Sally. 

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on A Cancer On Society

April 21st, 2008

Ya Think?

David Roberts, over at Ex-Gay Watch, observes the kook pews falling over each other to excuse Sally Kern’s calling gay people a greater threat to the nation then terrorists, and writes

I’m beginning to realize that, in at least some cases, what I thought was a more civil, sincere change in the hearts and minds of those who have opposed gay rights and equality in this society, perhaps was only a thin veneer which they feel has been imposed upon them.

Welcome to bigotville David.  Yes…now they hate our guts even more for making them pretend to love us.

by Bruce | Link | React! (1)


Note From The Housing Bubble…

Atrios writes…

This somewhat anecdotal stuff rankles my inner social scientist, but perhaps things are changing a bit.

Economists say home prices are no where near hitting bottom. But even in regions that have taken a beating, some neighborhoods remain practically unscathed. And there’s a pattern emerging as to which neighborhoods those are.

The ones with short commutes are fairing better than places with long drives into the city. Some analysts see a pause in what’s long been inexorable—urban sprawl.

Realtor Danilo Bogdanovic surveyed two rows of neat new brick town homes on Falkner’s Lane. "These were selling for about $550,000 at the peak, which was about August 05, and they’re selling right now for about $350,000," Bogdanovic said."So $200,000 in a year and a half and fifty 50 of this community has been ether foreclosed on or is facing foreclosure.

For residents who work in the city, their commute is around an hour on trouble-free days. But that could extend upward toward two hours very quickly.

But construction in town has held steady. Goldberg sees other cities rebounding too, including Baltimore and Philadelphia."Philadelphia was loosing downtown housing and in town housing until very recently," Goldberg said. "And now that’s the hottest part of their market."

That’s my experience so far here in Baltimore.  In the neighborhood I live in, the houses going up for sale still don’t stay on the market for more then a few weeks.  Prices aren’t soaring like they once were…if anything they’ve gone down a tad.  But just a tad.  Prices are still more then double what they were seven years ago.

I can walk to work from where I live.  For most folks here in my neighborhood who work in the city, the commute can’t be too bad because we’re close to I-83 which goes right into the heart of downtown Baltimore.  The Light rail is nearby too.

Traffic congestion plus the rising cost of gas is already having an effect.  The housing market collapse isn’t happening where people can live close to where they work, or close to rail transport.  One of the biggest booming housing markets in Baltimore, still is around Penn Station.  Which just also happens to be close to our gay neighborhood too. 

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Note From The Housing Bubble…


Darwin, Peacocks, And Idiots

I don’t normally read Wing Nut Daily, but when I saw this headline cross my Google News page…

‘Gay’ marriage: The cure for homosexuality

I had to take a closer look.  The column from Craig Smith begins promisingly…

Before you know it November will be upon us, and we will be required to choose a new president. But as in all elections, we will also vote on certain proposals and ballot initiatives. So I suspect it is only a matter of time before we hear the voices of the gay and lesbian community demanding the right to government-sanctioned "marriage," and this year I am all for it!

Homosexuals should enjoy the same rights and privileges married couples have experienced since the beginning of time: To be able to love and cherish, to have and to hold, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, ’till death do they part.

But this is a Wing Nut Daily column of course, so actually Smith is being sarcastic here.  His real point is…

Thus I suspect if married gay couples honored their vows, within two to three generations we would not have any more gay babies being born. Given most gay people say they didn’t choose to be gay but were born gay, it would eliminate innocent people being born into a world that homosexuals deem so hostile toward them. It would settle once and for all the argument that homosexuality is genetic and not a choice. Nature, not nurture. If there is no procreation, there is no passing of genes and, thus, the species does not survive.

Darwin would have been right!

Let’s get serious. Homosexuality is a choice. And the choices people make are their business. What goes on in your bedroom is your choice. But when a group or person attempts to force society into condoning their choice or demands that their choice be taught to future generations as a "normal" lifestyle, I have a problem.

If you want to take the position that homosexuality is not a choice, then let’s experiment with my idea. We will know rather quickly who is right and who is wrong for nature itself proves the whole genetic argument invalid.

We’re having a Darwin moment here I see…

  
 

From: Bruce Garrett
To: Craig Smith
Subject: Darwin and Homosexuality

You write, "If you want to take the position that homosexuality is not a choice, then let’s experiment with my idea. We will know rather quickly who is right and who is wrong for nature itself proves the whole genetic argument invalid". 

You need to take a little better interest then this in how the natural world really works.  Perhaps this AP article from 1999 will help you out a tad…

Why Do Peacocks Stick Together in Avian `Singles Bar’?

By MATTHEW FORDAHL, AP Science Writer
Copyright ©1999 Associated Press

Groups of peacocks strut their stuff in hopes of attracting the finest peahens, but only a few lucky guys will find a willing mate in the wild kingdom’s equivalent of a singles bar.

Scientists have long wondered why the unsuccessful peacocks stick around the same group year after year when the hens tend to select the same few males each breeding season.

Research published Thursday in the journal Nature suggests a sound evolutionary reason: Many of the bird buddies within individual groups are brothers. By working together, the brothers are increasing the odds that their genes will be passed to another generation.

"By helping your relatives to attract mates, your genes are spread," said Marion Petrie, a researcher at Britain’s University of Newcastle, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

The research sheds light on why some peacocks seem unconcerned with sex and are content to be hangers-on in the animal singles scene: Larger groups of peacocks attract more females, so some of the peacocks are there just to make the group bigger.

"The benefits of helping closely related dominants to attract more females may outweigh the subordinate males’ own meager mating opportunities," said Cornell University researcher Paul Sherman in an accompanying Nature commentary.

Petrie and her colleagues studied about 200 free-ranging peafowl in Whipsnade Park north of London. Using DNA fingerprinting, the researchers found birds inside the strutting groups are more likely to be related to each other than those outside the group.

But how do the related birds find each other? That’s unclear, but it is not because the peacock brothers grew up together.

In fact, the researchers found that when peacock brothers were separated before hatching, and then were released into Whipsnade Park when they were yearlings, the brothers still tended to group together.

The mechanism by which the birds found their relatives is unclear. It could be by odor, feather patterns or the sounds the birds make.

"There is some way in which kin can be associated, which doesn’t require learning or environmental clues," Petrie said. "They didn’t know their fathers or mothers. They could not possibly learn who their brothers were. They had no reference points to where they were born, but they still found each other."

If you don’t pass on your genes, but you help your siblings pass on theirs, your family genes get passed on, and that’s good enough as far as natural selection is concerned. If you help make your family, or your tribe look desirable, then the genes in that pool, which likely include a good many of yours too, get to go a few more rounds. If a trait is recessive, not everyone in the group needs to express it, for it to get passed along too, with all the others.  If this is not true, then the mating rituals of Peacocks would not look the way they do.

Here’s a little something else to ponder when considering Darwin and homosexuality: the humble prostate gland.  When you massage it, which is what happens during a certain kind of male to male sex, you can bring a human male to a right dandy orgasm.  I doubt that massaging any other gland in the human body will produce anything other then pain, let alone sexual pleasure, but that one particular gland, in that one particular part of the male anatomy is different that way.  You need to pay attention to that, because militant homosexuality didn’t do that, godless secularism didn’t do that, the Warren court didn’t do that, millions of years of adaptive evolution gave that to every human male who ever walked this earth, whether they had any use for it or not.  And let’s be honest here, most don’t.  The vast majority of human males have utterly no use for that. 

Yet there it is. 

So…actually, you’re probably sitting on all the proof you need for the genetic argument at this very moment. 


Bruce Garrett
Baltimore, Maryland.

I was too polite to tell him that as long as he’s got his head up his ass he should look around.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Darwin, Peacocks, And Idiots

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