Wednesday, November 07, 2007

ENDA Debate Video Recap

ABOVE LEFT: Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) angrily rips the Republicans for the attempt to kill the bill by recommitting it. If you only watch one of these clips, make it this one. ABOVE RIGHT: Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) on her t-inclusive amendment.

ABOVE LEFT: Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks in favor of ENDA, just prior to the vote. ABOVE RIGHT: Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) rips the GOP for not supporting LGBT's. Some great quotes. Keep an eye on this guy.

ABOVE LEFT: Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL), who lead much of the debate, speaks in favor of ENDA. ABOVE RIGHT: Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) speaks of the time before the Civil Rights Act and its relationship to ENDA.

I pulled all these clips from Nancy Pelosi's YouTube page. No videos of the idiotic GOP responses have been posted as far as I can find. Cowards.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

ENDA Reactions

Matt Foreman - National Gay & Lesbian Task Force
"We are deeply disappointed that House leadership decided to ignore the position of a vast majority of LGBT organizations, ignore the legal assessment that this bill may not even provide adequate protections for gays, lesbians and bisexuals, and ignore the fact that this vote might make it more difficult to persuade members of Congress to support a fully inclusive bill in the future. We are also disappointed that House leadership forced many members of its own caucus to choose between voting for a bill not supported by most in the LGBT community, or voting against a civil rights bill. This entire process has been painful, divisive and unnecessary. And worst of all, we went through all of this on behalf of a bill that the president has already said he would veto.


We are relieved this episode is behind us, and starting right now we are going to pick up where we were six weeks ago — namely, working to pass into law in 2009 the ENDA our entire community wants and deserves."
Joe Solmonese - Human Rights Campaign
"Today, we witnessed the making of civil rights history in the U.S. House of Representatives by the passing of ENDA. Our fight for equality will not be won overnight. It will be won one step at a time, and we will not give up until we reach the finish line. This is a critical piece of legislation and a major step toward the finish line for all Americans."
Mara Keisling - National Center For Transgender Equality
"The staff and board of the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) are deeply disappointed by today's action in the U.S. House of Representatives in forcing through a flawed, divisive civil rights bill that virtually no civil rights organization wants and that has virtually no chance to pass into law.

NCTE pledges to continue our efforts to educate Congress and the public around issues of both sexual orientation and gender identity.

We praise the efforts of so many who worked tirelessly to protect all LGBT people, including the members of Congress who stood strongly with LGBT people in asking for protections for all LGBT people. We also express deep gratitude to the more than 350 LGBT organizations who are part of the United ENDA coalition. Transgender people should be comforted in their disappointment today knowing that the preponderance of the LGBT movement has stood with us absolutely rock solidly."
Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
"Some people have asked why I insisted on bringing an amendment to the floor, only to withdraw it without a vote. The reason is simple. Those left behind by this bill deserve to hear, on the floor of the House, that they are not forgotten and our job will not be finished until they, too, share fully in the American Dream.

Those who would practice employment discrimination, who permit bullying or ostracism on the job, who hire or fire based on stereotyped notions of what is masculine and what is feminine, rather than on a person’s skills and ability, need to hear, from the floor of the House, that such practices are not acceptable in our society.

Irrational hate or fear have no place in our society. If we truly believe in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, if we truly want to protect the most vulnerable in our society, if we continue to profess that all men are created equal, then we must work toward achieving the American Dream for all…not just for some.

So, I join with my colleagues in celebrating House passage of a bill that bans employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. This is important and necessary legislation. And I remain committed, as we all are, to passing legislation that bans workplace discrimination on the basis of gender identity."

Labels: , , , , , ,


By a vo e of 235-184, he House of Represen a ives has approved he Employmen Non-Discrimina ion Ac , which is he first na ional gay righ s legisla ion in he his ory of he Uni ed
S a es.

hirty-five Republicans crossed par y lines to suppor ENDA.

Labels: , , ,

Stall, Delay, Lie

Unsurprisingly, Republican legislators are trying a number of tactics to stall today's ENDA vote, including a lengthy debate of a procedural issue (requiring a vote) and a call to adjourn for the day, which failed.

Many reps have made impassioned speeches on both sides of the issue. Dennis Kucinich struck early by voicing strenuous objection to the removal of the Baldwin amendment, which would have added transgender protection back to the bill. Republicans have sounded the usual "special rights" and "Christian bookstores will be REQUIRED to hire hummersexshuls!" sorts of lies.

This will be a long day.

UPDATE: The debate is back on, finally. Watch it live online.

UPDATE II: Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN) just used an Andrew Sullivan quote to support his case against the bill.

Labels: , ,

Massage w/Unhappy Ending

After a threatened picket by the National Organization of Women, the publishers of New York Magazine have agreed to drop the escort and massage section from the back section of the magazine, becoming the 15th NY-based title to cease taking the thinly-veiled prostitution ads due to pressure from NOW.
The feminist group called the magazine the "marketing arm of the organized-crime world of prostitution and human trafficking" because of ads touting "Asians Gone Wild," "Asian Bliss" or "Hot Latinas."

"We worked to educate them on the connections trafficking and the existing sex industry," said Sonia Ossorio, president of NOW-NYC. "Numerous publications have come to the conclusion that it's not a business they really want to be in."

New York magazine became the 15th publication this year, including Time Out New York and the New York Press, that agreed to end the "escort" and "model" ads that are often codes for prostitution.

New York Magazine says they will lose $10,000 a week in advertising. Gay bar rags like HX and Next Magazine probably make even more from prostitutes, but I'm pretty confident that none of those guys are being trafficked into the city in the holds of Chinese cargo ships, although you never know. Still, the presence of those bar rag hooker ads scares away most mainstream advertisers who would otherwise love to reach an affluent, nightclubbing, urban gay male audience.

Is NOW right to pressure publishers on this issue? Does the gay community have a similar moral obligation to police its titles? Or is the issue of male prostitution enough removed from organized crime for us to recognize it as a valid, even positive aspect of gay life?

Labels: , , ,

ENDA Vote: Noon Today

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is currently speaking to a joint meeting of Congress, after which the House will vote on ENDA. I'll report the result here immediately.

Labels: , ,

Let's Get Physical

If you want the new Eagles album, their first in 28 years and this week's #1 on Billboard, you have to go to Wal-Mart as they are the exclusive retailer for the release. With few retail music chains left and indie record shops vanishing almost completely, for physical, in person sales, the music business is reverting to the sales model of 40 years ago, when albums were either sold from discount store endcaps or in a small corner of stores that primarily sold televisions.

There are a few notable music-only stores struggling along, Amoeba and Rasputin in the Bay Area, for example. But while getting new music has never been easier, the internet has been both boon and bane for emerging artists. How many of us discovered a fantastic new act because we were drawn to an amateurish display created by a teenage fan/clerk in a local record shop? I miss that.

Labels: ,

Go Greyhound

New records were set yesterday when the U.S. dollar continued its decline against foreign currencies. The Canadian dollar, currently the strongest currency in the world (seriously) is now trading at $1.10, the Euro is $1.47, and the British pound is at a 26-year high at $2.10.

So much for foreign vacations this year, eh? Meanwhile, Manhattan is just swamped with international tourists taking advantage of the relatively cheap hotel rooms and electronics, so at least there's that.

Labels: ,

Solmonese On Signorile

HRC head Joe Solomonese appeared on Michelangelo Signorile's radio show yesterday to defend the Human Right Campaign's decision to push for ENDA without transgender protections. It's a tough interview. Listen below.

Labels: , , , ,

Good Work Wednesday

NYC: God's Love We Deliver, which delivers free meals to homebound AIDS and cancer patients, holds their 14th Annual Race To Deliver, a 4K Run in Central Park on Sunday, November 18th. Register, pledge, donate here.

NYC: The Ali Forney Center, New York City's most comprehensive service organization for homeless LGBT youth-announces a memorial celebration of Ali Forney, commemorating his life and recognizing his continued inspiration to others on the ten-year anniversary of his tragic murder. Also commemorated is the 5-year anniversary of the Center itself, providing shelter, safety, and dignity to LGBT young people rejected by their families.The celebration is open to the public, and will place at Judson Memorial Church on Thursday, December 6. Speakers will include Executive Director Carl Siciliano, family and friends of Ali Forney, and others TBA as well as vocal performances.

SF: The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund will host a fundraiser for LGBT candidates on Wednesday, November 14th at 54 Palm Avenue. Candidates benefiting: Annise Parker, running for re-election as Houston City Controller, and Oregon State Senator Kate Brown, candidate for Oregon Secretary of State. Tickets $175-$1000. Purchase here.

LA: The Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Community Center 36th Annual Gala & Auction takes place on November 17th at the Hyatt Regency Century City. "Singer and Activist Jenifer Lewis and the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles to be Honored; Chorus to Perform “duet” with the iconic Linda Ronstadt." Tickets: $300 for individuals, $400 for VIP admission which includes preferred seating; $3,000 for a table of 10, and $4,000 for a VIP table of 10.

NYC: The Gay & Lesbian Anti-Violence Project will stage their 2007 Courage Awards at Gotham Hall on November 19th, hosted by B.D. Wong. This year's honorees: New York State Assembly Member Daniel J. O'Donnell, Ms. Verna Eggleston of the Bloomberg Family Foundation, and Sundance Channel.


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

ENDA+T Coalition Unravels

It was nice while it lasted.

Led by the HRC, the coalition of progressive and labor organizations supporting a trans-inclusive ENDA has significantly unraveled. Joining the HRC in an open letter to Congress in support of a trans-less bill: the NAACP, the National Education Association, the National Employment Lawyers Association, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the American Federation of State, County, Municipal Employees, and other groups. The AFL-CIO and the United Auto Workers Union have sent similar letters of their own.

HRC head Joe Solmonese called the move a "pragmatic and strategic decision." Earlier today, the HRC released a poll which claims that 70% of the LGBT community now supports ENDA without gender identity protections. (I'm guessing that not many T's were polled.)

Fearing a voter backlash in 2008, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been under intense pressure from junior Democrats to not allow a trans-inclusive bill to come to a vote. On Monday, the Rules Committee agreed to send ENDA to a floor vote, with three amendments attached. The first amendment, which adds gender identity protections back in, is now unlikely to be considered. The other two amendments address White House concerns about religious exemptions and DOMA.

(Via - &

UPDATE: An excerpt from today's HRC Backstory blog...
While the bill Congress is set to vote on a non-inclusive ENDA is not what we wanted, the Human Rights Campaign decided to stay at the table with Congress to fight for the best bill possible, and because passage of this legislation is a first and absolutely necessary step toward preventing discrimination based on gender identity.

Throughout this entire struggle, the Human Rights Campaign has been guided by the principle of equality for all. We’ve also been guided by the need to navigate potential roadblocks in order to achieve that equality and we’ve tried not to get ourselves boxed into a corner -- especially if that corner opposes progress.

We believe that staying at the table and negotiating in support of the best possible bill is better than simply walking away. It isn’t right and it’s a disappointing reality of how politics works but if we are going to win we can’t ever be disillusioned by letting the perfect get in the way of the good. But, without a doubt, the only path to achieving a bill protecting our whole community is by achieving a successful House vote tomorrow. A defeat of ENDA tomorrow would set back the possibility of an inclusive bill for many, many years.

Moral and principled advocates for equality can disagree on strategies but we should never question each others commitment to the common goal of equality we all share. We hope that our partners in the ongoing fight for equality will join with us in this step forward and not seek to divide us.

The Family Research Council, Traditional Values Coalition and their allies would like nothing more than for our movement to fail, and for ENDA to die in this Congress. To stand idly by and let that happen would constitute ceding ground.

Labels: , ,

Cloudy Times In Sunshine State

The anti-gay Florida4Marriage has gathered 597,000 signatures on a petition demanding that same-sex marriage be outlawed statewide. When they reach 610,000 signatures, an amendment to the state constitution will be placed on 2008 ballot. The amendment would need a 60% vote to pass, something polls indicate it would get.

Gay marriage is already illegal in Florida, because it is a state that adopted the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman. Writing that into the state constitution would prevent state judges from overturning the law to allow gay marriage, as the Supreme Court did in Massachusetts. But in some states, bans similar to the one proposed in Florida have opened the door to lawsuits challenging all domestic partnership benefits.

In Florida, cities such as Tampa, Gainesville and Miami Beach have domestic partner registries, where unmarried couples, gay or straight, can sign up and be allowed to share health insurance benefits in government jobs, and also receive medical cards allowing each other to visit in the hospital.
Opponents of the amendment point out that the new law would open up the private sector to lawsuits regarding domestic partners benefits. Using last year's successful example in Arizona, pro-gay forces are concentrating on the specter of lawsuits in their campaign against the proposed amendment.

(Via - Bilerico Project.)

Labels: ,

Congress: Mukasey In, ENDA MIA

A Senate panel just cleared the nomination of Michael B. Mukasey as Alberto Gonzales' replacement as Attorney General, despite concern that Mukasey has refused to condemn waterboarding as torture. The full Senate will now likely approve Mukasey later this week.

Over on the House side, I've been monitoring C-SPAN2 for today's supposed ENDA vote, but so far the only business has been several long, droning speeches (to an empty house) in support of a resolution congratulating the Boston Red Sox for winning the World Series. Thankfully, that critically important piece of legislation was passed. Democracy survives.

Labels: , , , ,

Fussy Cat, It's Not Your Fault

When Shelley is displeased with the day's selection of wet food, she buries it by scooping over her dry food (center bowl) on top of it. Even though she makes a mess, I'm impressed with how much dry food makes it into the wet bowl. It's a tense day in Chez Shelley, as we're on stand-by from the vet for her re-spaying operation. The cat carrier is by the door with my fleece sweatshirt (her bed of choice) inside. If the vet gets an opening, she'll go this afternoon. Once she goes in, we'll go to round-the-clock, up-to-the-minute coverage here on MSJMG. Shelter Kitty appreciates your good wishes. Oh, and also your vote.


Asshattery In The Boone-docks

Faded schlock star Pat Boone produced two homophobic recordings which were used to robo-dial voters urging support of Republican incumbent Ernest Fletcher in today's Kentucky gubernatorial race. The 30 and 60-second calls went to thousands of voters.

The 30-second call: “His opponent is so ultra-liberal he’s just been enthusiastically endorsed by C-FAIR, a prominent gay rights advocacy group. They’re convinced Beshear is their guy. Now you have to ask, ‘Do you really want Kentucky to become another San Francisco?’ Please re-elect Ernie Fletcher.”

The 60-second call. "Hello friends. This is Pat Boone - a fellow Kentuckian by descent from granddaddy Dan'l. I've always been proud of Kentucky's stance on patriotic, military and moral issues - a great heritage. Now, as an American and a Christian I'm very concerned about the upcoming governor's election. Ernie Fletcher is a typical Kentuckian. He's worked long and hard for the state, its people, and its traditions. And of course he's come under attack by political opponents. And now, he faces a man who wants his job, who has consistently supported every homosexual cause - same-sex marriage, gay adoption, special rights to gay, lesbian, bisexual even transgender individuals. The prominent gay advocacy group CFAIR just enthusiastically endorsed Beshear, knowing he's their guy. Kentuckians have already voted to amend the state constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage. Now, do you want a governor who would like Kentucky to be another San Francisco? Please re-elect Ernie Fletcher. This message paid for by the Republican Party of Kentucky."

Go here to listen to the 30 and 60-second recordings. Boone, a former darling of wingnut talk shows, temporarily lost favor with the Christianists in 1997 when he recorded the above-depicted album of heavy metal standards. Ironically, last year he released an album of R&B and disco covers titled, We Are Family.

UPDATE: Boone's boy loses.

Labels: , , , ,

Ro A Go For New Show?

Rosie O'Donnell is in talks with MSNBC about hosting a prime-time talk show. According to early reports, one possibility under discussion would have O'Donnell hosting a live show at 9PM Eastern Time, which would slot her against CNN's Larry King Live and Fox's Hannity & Colmes. The new show would follow MSNBC's Countdown With Keith Olbermann. O'Donnell left ABC's The View six months ago after several contentious on-air fights with her co-hosts.

This sounds like exactly the right vehicle for Rosie.

Labels: ,

Reptile Charged With Child Abuse

Shirley Phelps-Rogers, daughter of Fred Phelps, is in court this week charged with negligent child abuse, endangering a child, flag mutilation, and disturbing the peace. Phelps-Rogers brings her 10 year-old son to the Phelps clan's funeral protests, which constitutes child endangerment, according the charges. The good mother claims her son willingly attended the protests.

Labels: , ,

Swag Tuesday

Courtesy of LOGO, this week's Swag Tuesday prize is the DVD of the first full season of The Big Gay Sketch Show, which includes all six episodes, Big Gay bonus sketches, Celesbian Interviews, Team Pimp’s sexy new music video and more. Inside: a bonus disc - Outlaugh on Wisecrack. The DVD becomes available on November 6th via and the LOGO online shop.

Headed by a cast of eight fresh up-and-coming comedic actors, The Big Gay Sketch Show features a combination of traditional and music-based sketches, pop culture parodies and recurring characters, all from a unique LGBT perspective. Check out the "Gay Werewolf", "Tranny 911", "The Gay Facts of Life", "The Gay All in the Family" and "The Gay Honeymooners" and more! The show is produced by Oh Really! Productions and executive producers are Rosie O'Donnell, Dan MacDonald and Joe Del Hierro. Amanda Bearse (Married with Children, director of numerous episodes of Mad TV), is the series director.
Enter to win by commenting on this post. Only comment once and please remember to leave your email address. Publicists: if you'd like to take part in Swag Tuesday on JMG, please email me.


Monday, November 05, 2007

It's A Horse Race -UPDATED

And I'm Francis, The Talking Mule.

UPDATE: I've gotten several emails politely chastising me for for my "flip" and "cynical" references to the 2007 Weblog Awards pageant and for not observing proper netiquette by providing links to the other finalists. No apologies for the first bit, but it seems I've been properly served on the netiqette part. Ouch, how embaraskin! Here are the ten finalists for Best LGBT Blog:

Finalist Links
Republic of T

I particularly recommend you check out two of the finalists, if you don't read them already:

Pam's House Blend - Hosted by noted LGBT activist, Pam Spaulding, Pam's House Blend is a vital source for up-to-the-minute political news and commentary. Pam has four co-bloggers and her site features numerous Daily Kos-like diaries written by readers. The Blend also has a chat room feature.

The Bilerico Project - Billed as "Daily experiments In LGBTQ", the Bilerico Project is a community LGBT rights blog hosted by Bil Browning and several co-bloggers, with dozens of notable contributors, including nationally renowned activists such as Matt Foreman, Joe Solmonese, Patricia Nell Warren, Lane Hudson, Candice Gingrich, Mike Rogers, and Pam Spaulding .

I also failed to mention that you may vote once every 24 hours and that the voting closes on November 8th. As nine out the nine other finalists have said, vote early, vote often.

As for this here website thingy, [SUCK UP ALERT] I consider all of you my co-bloggers. Group hug! Seriously though, I do have some vague, misty plan to actually get a new fancy non-Blogger template that has all the fancy gee-gaws that could support some fun new features and add some snap to my look. Just gotta get off my ever-shrinking be-yoo-tocks and find a slick web designer. Suggestions welcome. Forums? A Flickr group? M4M-JMG? Heh.

The Mummy Has Two Faces

After reading the story about yesterday's first-ever public unveiling of the King Tut's mummifed face, I kept turning the page back to try and figure out why the computer-generated image of his face seemed so familiar. Ah, got it. Barbara Streisand, circa Funny Girl. It turns out, others think the same thing.

Labels: ,

Egg Lady

The Grill, First Avenue, 8AM......

Two people in front of me, an assistant is taking her boss' breakfast order over her speaker-phone.

Woman On Speaker: You're unbelievable. I told you NO FUCKING EGGS! Omelets are made of EGGS. Breakfast burritos are made of EGGS. No FUCKING eggs! God, what fucking planet are you from? Get me a toasted raisin bagel and a fruit cup. Jesus!

(Hangs up.)

Assistant: Can I get a toasted raisin bagel, please?

Cook: Want me rub some eggs on it?

Assistant: Would you, please?

Labels: ,

The Case Of The Poofter Plate

David Phillips, whom you may recall for telling the world about his scatified encounter with Larry Craig, is in the news again. Phillips has been told by the Virginia DMV that he must surrender his POOFTER vanity plate.
For 11 years, over nearly 200,000 miles, with the blessing of the state of Virginia, David Phillips has driven his Tracker with the "POOFTER" license plate, and nobody has complained -- not even when he parked at the British Embassy, where everybody knows "poofter" is British slang for a gay man.

"It's always a rolling good laugh for them," says Phillips, who is gay and chose his tags' message because "it's just an amusing word that I self-identify with."

The commonwealth of Virginia is not amused. It gave Phillips his vanity plates in error, Carolyn Easley, coordinator of the special license plates office, wrote in a recent letter. "You may have grown fond of your personalized plates," but they are "socially, racially or ethnically offensive or disparaging" and "you must return them." There was no explanation for why it took Virginia 11 years to figure out what "poofter" means.
I knew a gay guy in Fort Lauderdale whose Jeep sported "NO FISH" plates, something a feminist or two probably had a problem with, had they known what he meant. So few Americans know what "poofter" means, I can see why it took Virginia so long to object. Still, knowing that the word is insulting overseas would make me think twice about using it on a license plate. Phillips plans on fighting for his POOFTER plate. What do you think? How far can we go with even a self-mocking plate?

Labels: ,

Bloomie The Indie

The cover story in the current issue of Newsweek discusses the increasing likelihood of Mayor Bloomberg joining the presidential race, something I've been telling you people IS going to happen. Calling him "the billion dollar wild card", the story delves into Bloomberg's motivations and the effect his independent candidacy would have on Clinton and Giuliani. Bloomberg continues to vow that he will not be a candidate, but insiders are dropping hints that he may declare sometime in March after the Texas primary.

Overall, I've been impressed with Bloomberg as mayor of NYC, although there have been a few thorny missteps, such as the way his troops handled protesters at the 2004 Republican convention. However, he is a staunch supporter of gay rights and "personally" favors legalizing same-sex marriage. An independent moderate could take huge numbers of votes from both major parties, but can a Democrat turned Republican turned Independent gain enough cred to make it worth risking abandoning the Dem nominee? At least we know he won't be asking for campaign donations.

Labels: , ,

GOP Perv Roll Call

A reader tipped me off to a new site called, whose mission is "exposing the hypocrisy of Republican 'family values'". Whew, there's lots of baddies in there.

Labels: ,


Barack Obama made a surprise cameo on SNL this weekend in a skit in which all the Democratic candidates come to Hillary's Halloween party. I especially liked the dig at Bill Richardson.

Labels: , , ,

Can You Hear Them Now? Good.

Anybody out there own a cell-phone jammer yet? Man, I would love to have one of these suckers.
As cellphone use has skyrocketed, making it hard to avoid hearing half a conversation in many public places, a small but growing band of rebels is turning to a blunt countermeasure: the cellphone jammer, a gadget that renders nearby mobile devices impotent.

The technology is not new, but overseas exporters of jammers say demand is rising and they are sending hundreds of them a month into the United States — prompting scrutiny from federal regulators and new concern last week from the cellphone industry. The buyers include owners of cafes and hair salons, hoteliers, public speakers, theater operators, bus drivers and, increasingly, commuters on public transportation.

The development is creating a battle for control of the airspace within earshot. And the damage is collateral. Insensitive talkers impose their racket on the defenseless, while jammers punish not just the offender, but also more discreet chatterers.

“If anything characterizes the 21st century, it’s our inability to restrain ourselves for the benefit of other people,” said James Katz, director of the Center for Mobile Communication Studies at Rutgers University. “The cellphone talker thinks his rights go above that of people around him, and the jammer thinks his are the more important rights.”

The jamming technology works by sending out a radio signal so powerful that phones are overwhelmed and cannot communicate with cell towers. The range varies from several feet to several yards, and the devices cost from $50 to several hundred dollars. Larger models can be left on to create a no-call zone.
I've seen a jammer on sale in Chinatown for $200, but at the time I didn't realize what it was. I don't think I approve of businesses like theatres employing jammers, but a personal cone of silence in public spaces is mighty appealing.


Morning View - Keychain

I was woken up last night by my super banging on my neighbor's door to tell her that she'd left her keys in the lock. Again. For a middle-aged lady, she seems to have a lot of big nights. The keys are still there this morning. One of these days I'm just gonna take those damn keys and throw them out the window.


Sunday, November 04, 2007

Afternoon View - NYC Marathon

Today's NYC Marathon runs past my street at the 16-mile mark. The course goes through all five boroughs, although the Staten Island portion is pretty much just the Verrazano Bridge and the runners wisely only step into the Bronx for a few blocks. By the time I took the above photo, the winners had already been interviewed in Central Park, where the race finishes.

Along First Avenue there's a carnival atmosphere, sort of like a tail-gate party with live bands and huge cheering sections for the various international running clubs. Every year, my block hosts big crowds from Holland, Sweden, and France. I got tired just standing there watching all that exertion. Bah.

Labels: , ,

Furrific Fun

Furball was a hot, sweaty ball of man fun. There had to have been some kind of attendance record, the place was just on the good side of too crowded. Most of the people I know in NYC were in the house, with rock-god Bob Mould making an appearance with some of his DC crew. I also had a nice chat with DJ Man Parrish, whose seminal Hip Hop Be Bop pretty much laid the ground for today's electro sound back in 1982. Kudos to the LGBT Center and Joe Fiore for a great night.

Labels: , , , , ,

Miss South Carolina

I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so.

Like everywhere and such as.

For our children.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Furball: Saturday, November 3rd

The NYC LGBT Community Center holds their Furball dance tomorrow. Come out and get sweaty with 600+ hairy menz dancing on two floors to DJs Man Parrish and Jack Reina. (I'm going, duh!) I went to the last one and had a fantastic time. Their sound system and dance floor is as good as some clubs around town.

Also of note tomorrow at the Center: Deep-Bear Dating, a workshop for date-seeking bears, at 6pm.

UPDATE: Can't resist adding this fun new bear song from Kendall & Bears On The Run. Bears! Very catchy. Hope they play it at the Furball.

Pathetic shilling.

Labels: , , ,

PhoboQuotable - Mitt Romney

"Even when there's a divorce, you still have a mom and a dad. And even where one member of the partnership may pass away, the memory and the characteristics of that gender, of that partner influence the development of a child. I'm in favor of promoting, as a society, the marriage of men and women and the development of children in that kind of setting." - Mitt Romney.

One dead parent is better than two gay ones. Praise Jeebus.

Labels: , ,

Happy Haggardversary!

Yes, it's been one year.

Check out Colorado Confidential's excellent recap of the entire delicious mess.

Labels: ,

Not Gay Enough?

Genre Magazine's new editor, Neal Boulton, says he's the victim of an odd sort of gay-bashing:
"Former Men's Fitness editor Neal Boulton, who sprinted out of the closet this year when he publicly made out with Jann Wenner outside the Time Warner Center, is being harassed - for acting too straight. 'Some p - - - ed-off gay-activist types bombarded me over the weekend as I walked hand in hand with my children. One threatened to call Page Six to 'out me' as a straight fraud,' Boulton, who now edits gay-lifestyle magazine Genre, told us. 'The other guy barked that I had no right editing a gay magazine because of all the women I slept with. I would have clocked them had my kids not been in tow. Yeah, I did spend the weekend at [my wife] Claire's, but I do that all the time. I try to get as much time in with the kids and Claire . . . [Bleep], she's the mother of my children.' Boulton assures us he is quite gay, and we're inclined to believe him. He recently asked gay-porn king Michael Lucas for a bit part in an XXX video."
I met Boulton recently at the HX party and he seemed gay as a goose to ME.

(Via - Towleroad.)

Labels: , , ,

Soldier Found Guilty In HIV Case

At Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Pfc. Johnny Lamar Dalton, 25, has been sentenced to 40 months in military prison for having unprotected sex with an 18 year-old male he met online. Dalton had tested positive last year and was ordered by his superiors not to have unprotected sex. After the teenager tested positive, his mother notified the military. Dalton was convicted of violating a direct order, committing an "indecent act", and possessing marijuana. After his sentence is completed, Dalton will be dishonorably discharged.

When Dalton first tested positive, he was spared being deployed to Iraq, but was not challenged on his possible gayness. North Carolina law stipulates that HIV positive people may not have sex without a condom and not without first notifying their partner of their condition. Homosexual acts remain a violation of the military code of conduct. It remains unknown if the teenager's serostatus can be directly traced to Dalton.

When I first blogged about Dalton's arrest back in July, there seemed to be a consensus here that an 18 year-old should be responsible for his own sexual protection. It's interesting that Dalton was convicted for violating a direct order and committing an indecent act, rather than for the HIV aspect of his act. Perhaps military law superseded the NC law? Anybody know?

Labels: ,

Dog, The Racist Hunter

By now you've no doubt heard about Duane "Dog" Chapman, star of A&E's Dog, The Bounty Hunter, whose racist phone tirade about his son's black girlfriend was leaked to the press. The transcript:
Duane "Dog" Chapman: I'm not taking the chance on some motherf**ker. I don't care if she's a Mexican, a whore,'s not because she's black. It’s because we use he word n***er sometimes here.

I'm not going to take a chance ever in life for losing everything I've worked for for 30 years because some f**king n**er heard us say n***er and turned us into the Enquirer magazine. Our career is over. I'm not taking that chance at all, never in life. Never. Never.

If Lyssa [his daughter] was dating a n***er we would all say F*ck You. . .and you know that. If Lyssa brought a black guy home ya da's not that they're black, it's none of that. It's that we use the word n***er. We don't mean you fucking scum n***er without a soul. We don't mean that shit. But America would think we mean that. And we're not taking a chance on losing everything we got over a racial slur because our son goes with a girl like that. I can't do that Tucker. You can't expect Gary, Bonnie, Cecily, all them young kids to [garbled] because 'I'm in love for 7 months' - fuck that! So, I'll help you get another job but you can not work here unless you break up with her and she's out of your life. I can't handle that shit. I got 'em in the parking lot trying to record us. I got that girl saying she's gonna wear a recorder...

Tucker Chapman: I don't even know what to say.
A&E has canceled production of Chapman's show. And now Chapman is asking Rev. Al Sharpton to meet with him, in the hopes of mitigating the damage. Too late, Dog. Predictably, Sharpton is "considering" meeting with Chapman, because hey, THERE WILL BE CAMERAS THERE.

Sickening, all around.

Labels: , ,

Gays Volunteer In California Fire Crisis

Veteran gay reporter Rex Wockner, a San Diego resident, has filed a heartwarming report about the amazing response of the gay community to the fires that have ravaged Southern California. An excerpt:
None of San Diego's gayest areas was hit by the massive wildfires that roared around the county and the city last week, but GLBT people stepped up in large numbers as volunteers and donors, community leaders said.

"We don't know enough yet to fully assess who among all the affected people happen to be GLBT," said Delores Jacobs, chief executive director of The San Diego LGBT Community Center. "Based on our own staff and other folks' staffs, clearly there were GLBT folks in the affected areas. But I don't think their first thought is, 'My house is burning, I'm gay,' I think their first thought is, 'My house is burning!'"

Jacobs said The Center (the agency's official short-form name) had "a flood of calls" from GLBT people wanting to volunteer to help victims of the fires.

"We directed a huge volunteer response from our community," she said. "We were flooded with how-can-I-help calls from Monday through Thursday -- really an extraordinarily large amount. Lots of our volunteers volunteered at Qualcomm Stadium and at other shelters as well."
Read the rest.

Labels: , , ,

Prom Queens

I never win these things.

Although there was that Malcontent thing.

Morning View - Taxi GPS

This is the new seatback GPS screen that has Gotham cabbies so upset, claiming the device is an invasion of privacy. Dr. Jeff was riding with me and he looked at the screen and said, "If this was Tron, we'd be dead in one block." By the way, that red line isn't only our trip, we'd just gotten in.


Broadway Friday

-Broadway's lights were dimmed on Wednesday in honor of Grammy and Tony Award winner Robert Goulet, who died on Tuesday of lung disease. In 1968 Goulet won the Tony for Best Actor In A Musical in The Happy Times. He last appeared on Broadway in 2005 in La Cage Aux Folles.

-Maxwell Caulfield and Jeff McCarthy will be the next two actors to play Billy Flynn in Chicago. Caulfield takes over from Brian McKnight on November 19th, McCarthy starts on December 2nd.

-Rosie O'Donnell will serve as national ambassador for the 12th Annual Kids Night On Broadway. The events run in NYC on Feb. 5, 6, 12 and 13, 2008, and nationwide throughout the winter and spring.

-Disney's The Little Mermaid begins previews Saturday at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.

-Actor Joel Vig is suing the producers of Hairspray for $1.5M for wrongful termination. Vig left the show in 2004 after injuring his knee. The former Mr. Pinky claims he worked injured for six months at the request of the stage manager, but was fired from the show when he took leave for knee surgery. An arbitrator refused to hear the case and Vig's union refused to appeal that decision, prompting his suit.

-Duran Duran's two-week concert run at the Ethyl Barrymore Theatre began yesterday. Even with tickets at $75-$150, the three-act show is only expected to break even. The show is a promotion for the band's 12th album, Red Carpet Massacre, due November 13th. It's been eight years since a rock act staged a concert run on Broadway.

-Bob Saget joined the cast of Drowsy Chaperone earlier this month as Man In Chair. As Little David said to me, that is probably the death knell for the show. Pity.


Thursday, November 01, 2007

Perfected: The Ann Coulter Song

From Barely Political, the people who brought us I Got A Crush On Obama, comes Perfected, a musical rip on Ann Coulter's recent remarks that Jews need to be "perfected" by becoming Christians.

(Via- Queerty.)

Labels: , ,

HomoQuotable - Claudia Contrada

"I am a lesbian, which my mom still does not get. She just says that I am confused. I realized in around eighth grade, but I was in denial for quite some time because I was scared due to my mother constantly saying that homosexuality is wrong. How can it ever be wrong to love though? That’s what I’d like to know." - High school student Claudia Contrada, whose mother is a founder of MassResistance, Massachusett's rabidly anti-gay activism organisation.

When Claudia joined the cast of her high school's production of The Laramie Project, the award-winning play about the murder of Matthew Sheppard, her mother organized protests against the play. Two days ago, Claudia came out. Welcome, brave Claudia.

Labels: , ,

Double Fission

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner was elected president of Argentina a few days ago. She's a Senator and the wife of a still-popular former president. Sounding familiar? Some in Argentina are concerned that Kirchner and her husband plan on alternating presidencies - Argentina has no term-limit law but does not allow consecutive terms. Here in Ammurrica, we only alternate families. With Jeb lurking on the horizon, the run-up to 2020 could be: Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton-Bush. But hey, by then Chelsea will be 40 and ready to run. Start the chant now: Clinton 2020!

Labels: , ,

Whiskerino 2007 Starts Today

Today is the first day of Whiskerino, the bi-annual beard growing contest. You must begin by being clean-shaven and trimming/sculpting is "highly frowned upon" during the growing season. The contest ends on February 29th, 2008. Here's the Flickr group for the 2005 contest. I'd probably play along, but I haven't been clean-shaven in about 10 years and I don't wanna start. Our man Aaron should do it though, as he puts it, his beard is "luscious".


Wingnuts Ditching GOP?

A new survey of evangelicals shows that 55% would consider a third-party candidate if Giuliani becomes the Republican nominee.
The finding, in a survey by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center, was the latest reading of discontent among one of the GOP's cornerstone voting blocs. Giuliani, the leading Republican contender in most national polls, is a former New York mayor whose views on abortion, gays and guns are considered too moderate by many conservatives.

According to the poll, 55 percent of white evangelical Republicans said they would consider a conservative who ran as a third-party candidate. Forty-two percent said they would not.

Evangelicals comprise 34 percent of GOP and Republican-leaning voters, according to Pew. They are divided about evenly among Giuliani, Fred Thompson and Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

It is unclear whether a third-party bid would be launched should Giuliani become the GOP nominee. Several dozen conservative Christian leaders met privately in September to discuss that possibility, but top evangelicals said they have reached no consensus.
Is this good news for the Dems? Seems like it. It would be great to have a third-party erode votes from the other side for a change. How many Dems did Perot leech away?

Labels: , ,

Little Beach Littler

Tropical Storm Noel is causing waves to crash over Fort Lauderdale's meager little sea wall, covering A1A with sand. There's going to be significant erosion of LaDeDa's already narrow beach. Up in Palm Beach County, beachfront structures are losing their foundations. But in the spring, the sand machines will dredge up some new beach somewhere. Still, it seems like the ocean is a little closer to the road every year.

Labels: , ,

Castro Halloween: DOA

San Francisco's campaign to end the Castro Halloween party was surprisingly effective.
"People are behaving well. We're happy," Neville Gittens, a police spokesman, said late Wednesday evening. "All of the city's planning and notification is paying off."

By midnight, city workers had taken away the metal police barricades that had lined parts of Castro and Market streets and the crowds had dwindled to about 100 people. Even the city streetsweepers had rolled through the neighborhood.

Many of the neighborhood's bars and restaurants closed early in response to the city's efforts to shut down this year's Halloween bash to avoid a repeat of the rowdiness and violence that led to the shootings of nine people last year. Then an estimated 200,000 people had crowded into the area for the annual party that's often described as "the gay Christmas."

Supervisor Bevan Dufty, who represents the Castro district, was one of the leaders of the effort to kill the party. He walked through the area Wednesday night, his only costume a baseball cap pulled low over his forehead.
I'm a bit shocked that it worked, actually.

Labels: , ,

Morning View - Daniel Webster

Created by sculptor Thomas Ball, this statue of Daniel Webster stands near the W. 72th Street entrance to Central Park, where it was dedicated in 1876. The original plan was to put the statue on Central Park's Mall, but it was too big. Webster served as a Senator, Congressman, and as U.S. Secretary of State to two presidents.


Open Thread Thursday

What's your damage?