Thursday, January 31, 2008

Milk Holiday Proposed For California

California Assemblyman Mark Leno (D-SF) is planning to introduce a bill that would declare May 22 "Harvey Milk Day." The bill would make the day a non-fiscal state holiday in which government workers and school children would not have the day off. Leno's effort is thought to be the first in history that would establish a statewide holiday to honor a gay rights activist.

Milk would have been 78 years old on May 22nd this year. The last new state holiday added to the California schedule came in 2000 when March 31st was proclaimed "Cesar Chavez Day," which is a paid holiday for state workers and day off for school kids.

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Swiss AIDS Experts Claim "Undetectable" Pozzers Can Bareback Safely

Controversial news from Swiss AIDS researchers:
GENEVA (AP) -- Swiss AIDS experts said Thursday that some people with HIV who meet strict conditions and are under treatment can safely have unprotected sex with non-infected partners.

The proposal astonished AIDS researchers in Europe and North America who have long argued that safe sex with a condom is the single most effective way of preventing the spread of the disease -- apart from abstinence.

"Not only is (the Swiss proposal) dangerous, it's misleading and it is not considering the implications of the biological facts involved with HIV transmission," said Jay Levy, director of the Laboratory for Tumor and AIDS Virus Research at the University of California in San Francisco.

The Swiss National AIDS Commission said patients who can satisfy strict conditions, including successful antiretroviral treatment to suppress the virus and who do not have any other sexually transmitted diseases, do not pose a danger to others. The proposal was published this week in the Bulletin of Swiss Medicine.

The Swiss scientists took as their starting point a 1999 study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which showed that transmission depends strongly on the viral load in the blood. The other studies had also found that patients on regular AIDS treatment did not pass on the virus, and that HIV could not be detected in their genital fluids.

"Let's be clear, the decision has to remain with the HIV-negative partner," said Pietro Vernazza, head of infectious diseases at the cantonal hospital of St. Gallen in Switzerland and an author of the report. The studies cited by the Swiss commission did not themselves definitively conclude whether people with HIV and on antiretroviral treatment could safely have unprotected sex without passing on the virus. The World Health Organization said Switzerland would be the first country in the world to try this approach.

"There is still some concern that you can never guarantee that somebody will not be infectious, and the evidence I have to say is not conclusive," said Charlie Gilks, director of AIDS treatment and prevention at WHO. "We are not going to be changing in any way our very clear recommendations that people on treatment continue to practice safer sex, including protected sex with a condom, in any relationship,'' he added. "In any case, of the 2 million people worldwide now receiving HIV treatment, only a very small number receive medical care comparable to that in Switzerland, Gilks said.
Note the portion which I have bolded. While it's been long posited that having unprotected sex with an HIV+ positive person on HAART was safer than having unprotected sex with a person who doesn't know their status, this is the first time any AIDS researchers have gone to far as to say it's "safe" for pozzers with undetectable viral loads to bareback.

Many HIV+ men serosort, which means to have sex only with those of the same HIV status, a practice credited with reducing new infections in San Francisco. I worry how this latest news may affect their behavior.

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But Is She Free of Engrams?

Nancy Cartwright, who voices Simpsons characters Bart Simpson, Ralph Wiggum, and Nelson Muntz, has made a $10M donation to the Church Of Scientology. The amount is twice her estimated annual salary from the show. In return, the cult named Cartwright their Patron Laureate. For comparison, records show that Tom Cruise has donated $5M over the last four years. In 2007, Kirstie Alley donated $5M, with John Travolta and Kelly Preston giving $1M each.

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Log Cabin Republicans Defend McCain's Homophobo-Robo Calls

Everybody's favorite idiots, the Log Cabin Republicans, are defending John McCain's homophobic robo-calls to Florida's voters.
The attacks on Sen. John McCain by the gay Left are completely out-of-bounds and don’t reflect the facts.

Let’s look at those facts:

Had anyone bothered to reach out to the McCain Campaign, they would have realized Sen. McCain immediately stopped the calls. The campaign told us Sen. McCain never saw the script and never approved it, which is why he stopped the calls ASAP.

Of course, those facts won’t satisfy the left-wing who pounces on these kinds of things. But where were these same left-wingers when Democrat Barack Obama, who has never introduced a single piece of pro-gay legislation in his Senate career, paraded around on stage with an anti-gay religious leader who believes in so-called “conversion therapy”? Where were they when Democrat Sen. Hillary Clinton couldn’t bring herself to denounce Gen. Peter Pace’s anti-gay remarks last year? Where were they when Obama proposed meetings and negotiations with the gay-murdering president of Iran?
I don't know where these bozos have been for the last year, but the gay and progressive left did indeed scream long and loudly over the Donnie McClurkin, Peter Pace, and Iran incidents. Visit any of a million gay blogs including Towleroad, Pam's House Blend, Good As You or the above JMG links for proof.

And as for their defense of John McCain, once again, the Log Cabinettes have proved themselves worthy of nothing more than our scorn.

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On Sirius OutQ Today

Tune into Michelangelo Signorile's show on Sirius OutQ today at 3pm EST:
Hilary Rosen, the President of and former Chairman and chief executive officer of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), will support Senator Hillary Clinton and Stampp Corbin, the National LGBT Liaison for the Obama campaign, and Co-Chair of the National LGBT Leadership Team, Obama for America ’08, will represent Senator Barack Obama. Both Rosen and Corbin will share their candidates’ platforms and views, take questions from callers, and engage in an open dialogue with SIRIUS’ national audience.
You can get a free three-day to Sirius here.

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HomoQuotable - Brian Paddick

"One right-wing newspaper is, I think, delving away hoping he is going to turn out to be a 19-year-old rent boy. If they do identify him and catch up with him they are going to be greatly disappointed in terms of news worthiness. I have, by running for political office, decided to some extent give up some of my privacy. I can't walk down the road anymore or get on a bus or a tube without people coming up to me. But my partner should make that decision for himself, whether he wants to give up his privacy in that way." - London mayoral candidate Brian Paddick, on keeping the identity of his boyfriend secret from the British press.

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Filthy Fun

Last night's Reading For Filth show at Rapture was extra fun. Chadwick Moore opened with a strangely compelling story about a disabled boy having gay sex for the first time, Sam J. Miller followed with his tale (NSFW) about a runaway and his much older lover crashing a fancy party, then Eric Leven (pictured below) read his affecting tale of an encounter with a married man.

I opened the second set with an IML story that I'll post this weekend. Next up was Jonny "The Gay Pimp" McGovern of LOGO's The Big Gay Sketch Show, who told of his adolescent hunt for gay porn in the barrens of Sun City, Arizona. The show closed with a couple of bawdy numbers from the hilarious Sherry Vine.

Big props to Rapture Books owner Joe Birdsong for creating (in one year, no less) such a vibrant hub for NYC's queer creatives. Thanks to my JMG'ers for showing up as always. Hey, Justin Bond (of Kiki & Herb) was even there!

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The End Of Florent?

Rumors have been flying on the various NYC foodie blogs about the impending closure of Meatpacking District landmark 24-hour diner and beloved gay hangout, Florent. Owner Florent Morellet, the iconic "Queen of MePa" confirmed to the NY Observer this week that his lease is ending March 31st, quelling, a tiny bit, the panic of foodies who feared the closure may have come as soon as today.

Morellet, a vigorous NYC preservation activist, is also famous for being openly HIV+ and posting his t-cell counts on the daily menu board. He plans to fight his landlord, who is reportedly shopping the space for $70,000/month. Florent opened in 1985 when the Meatpacking District was still a barren wasteland populated by crackheads, tranny prostitutes, and crackhead tranny prostitutes.

Once home to gay institutions such as the Vault, the Cellblock, the Mineshaft, Alex in Wonderland, the Anvil and the Lure, today the Meatpacking District is the hottest neighborhood in Manhattan, chock-a-block with super high-end designer boutiques and velvet rope restaurants. Notorious 80's gay sex club, J's Hangout, is now a fancy eatery.

Last night Dr. Jeff visited Florent to grab the last t-shirt off the display mannequin and take the above photo of their long-time waitress. Visit while you still can.

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NY Post Endorses Obama

NYC's conservative tabloid, the NY Post, has endorsed Barack Obama for the Democratic primary. But much like the NY Times' endorsement of John McCain focused more on why they were not backing Giuliani, the Post endorsement is more an evisceration of the Clintons than an enthusiastic support for Barack Obama.
His opponent, and her husband, stand for déjà vu all over again - a return to the opportunistic, scandal-scarred, morally muddled years of the almost infinitely self-indulgent Clinton co-presidency.

Does America really want to go through all that once again? It will - if Sen. Clinton becomes president. That much has become painfully apparent.

Bill Clinton's thuggishly self-centered campaign antics conjure so many bad, sad memories that it's hard to know where to begin. Suffice it to say that his Peck's-Bad-Boy smirk - the Clinton trademark - wore thin a very long time ago.
The Post is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp and is the 9th most widely-read paper in the country.

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Governator Goes McCain

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will endorse John McCain today. The governator withheld his endorsement until the Republican debates were over because "he didn't want to be seen taking sides in advance of the event." His endorsement is seen a huge boon to McCain in "delegate rich" California. Unrelated: I'm so sick of reading "delegate rich".

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Open Thread Thursday

Whom are you voting for on Tuesday?


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

HomoQuotable - Bruce Bawer

"Not very long ago, Oslo was an icy Shangri-la of Scandinavian self-discipline, governability, and respect for the law. But in recent years, there have been grim changes, including a rise in gay-bashings. The summer of 2006 saw an unprecedented wave of them. The culprits, very disproportionately, are young Muslim men.

"It’s not just Oslo, of course. The problem afflicts most of Western Europe. And anecdotal evidence suggests that such crimes are dramatically underreported. My own partner chose not to report his assault. I urged him to, but he protested that it wouldn’t make any difference. He was probably right.

"The reason for the rise in gay bashings in Europe is clear – and it’s the same reason for the rise in rape. As the number of Muslims in Europe grows, and as the proportion of those Muslims who were born and bred in Europe also grows, many Muslim men are more inclined to see Europe as a part of the umma (or Muslim world), to believe that they have the right and duty to enforce sharia law in the cities where they live, and to recognize that any aggression on their part will likely go unpunished. Such men need not be actively religious in order to feel that they have carte blanche to assault openly gay men and non-submissive women, whose freedom to live their lives as they wish is among the most conspicuous symbols of the West’s defiance of holy law.

"Multiculturalists can’t face all this. So it is that even when there are brutal gay-bashings, few journalists write about them; of those who do, few mention that the perpetrators are Muslims; and those who do mention it take the line that these perpetrators are lashing out in desperate response to their own oppression.


"It’s very clear what’s going on here – and where it’s all headed. Europe is on its way down the road of Islamization, and it’s reached a point along that road at which gay people’s right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is being directly challenged, both by knife-wielding bullies on the street and by taxpayer-funded thugs whose organizations already enjoy quasi-governmental authority. Sharia law may still be an alien concept to some Westerners, but it’s staring gay Europeans right in the face – and pointing toward a chilling future for all free people. Pim Fortuyn saw all this coming years ago; most of today’s European leaders still refuse to see it even though it’s right before their eyes."- Author Bruce Bawer, from his piece, First They Came For The Gays, published in the conservative forum, Pajamas Media.

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Daily Grumble

OK, the TV ads for U.S. Window Factory have got to stop. The manic hairpieced Australian pitchman vowing to move to America just so he can save on windows was bad enough. But their female shillster with her Queens accent, ratty hair extensions, eyebrows like McDonald's arches, and lips blown up so fat they'd embarrass Amanda Lepore? Make. It. Stop.


Reminder: Reading For Filth Tonight

And since so many of you have asked, here's the MySpace page of Nima Daivari, the model in the ad.

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Vermont Town: Arrest Bush & Cheney!

On the ballot in Brattleboro, Vermont:
"Shall the Selectboard instruct the Town Attorney to draft indictments against President Bush and Vice President Cheney for crimes against our Constitution, and publish said indictments for consideration by other authorities and shall it be the law of the Town of Brattleboro that the Brattleboro Police, pursuant to the above-mentioned indictments, arrest and detain George Bush and Richard Cheney in Brattleboro if they are not duly impeached, and prosecute or extradite them to other authorities that may reasonably contend to prosecute them?"
The town votes on March 4th. And naturally, an internet campaign to boycott Vermont has sprung up and threats of violence against town officials are flooding in.

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Pfizer Licenses HIV Med To Non-Profit

Interesting news from Pfizer today:
A new Pfizer Inc. HIV drug will soon be reformulated in an effort to prevent the transmission of the virus, offering a faint ray of hope in an arena littered with disappointments.

The New York drug maker is expected to announce today that it will license its new medicine, Selzentry, to a nonprofit that investigates ways to turn HIV medicines for infected patients into vaginal substances to prevent transmission to women during sex. The partnership offers a low-risk way for Pfizer to find out if the medicine could become a frequently taken drug, while potentially offering an empowering concept to women in the developing world.

HIV preventives have proven elusive, with researchers and advocates still recovering from last year's collapse of Merck & Co.'s once-promising vaccine trial. And Pfizer's new venture with the International Partnership for Microbicides is a long shot that relies on an unproven theory. But with some 33 million people infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, the enormous health and financial stakes continue to drive the hunt for treatments.
In August the FDA approved Selzentry for patients that have failed other HIV regimens. I know we've got lots of people reading JMG who are working on various PrEP models. Weigh in on this news, please.

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I Can Haz Cheeseburger? a CAN? Meh, I've probably had worse. White Castle frozen burgers come to mind.

(Via - Gizmodo.)


Bush To Barney Frank: I Hope You Told Him How Open-Minded I Am

After his State Of Union Address on Tuesday, Dubya waded into the crowd of legislators for some glad-handing. Passing Barney Frank, who was on the phone, Dubya told Frank to tell the person on the phone that the president said "Hello." The rest of the story:
What Bush didn't know was that the congressman was talking to his boyfriend.

"Tell him I said, 'Hello,' '' Bush said to Frank, leaning in to pat the congressman's shoulder. As Bush continued into the House chamber, Frank told his skeptical boyfriend that it had been the conservative Republican president sending his good wishes. Frank's boyfriend didn't believe him, so the Massachusetts lawmaker put one of the sergeants-at-arms on the phone to back up his story.

After the speech, Frank said, he felt he had to tell Bush what he had done. After all, the president opposes gay marriage, and gay rights groups do not see the president as an ally.

Frank sought out the president, who put his hand on the back of the congressman's head to hear him more clearly in the noisy, crowded room.

"Mr. President, by the way, the person I was talking to when you said to say hello was my boyfriend,'' Frank said he told the commander-in-chief.

"Well. I hope you said how open-minded I am,'' Frank said the president replied.

"I considered telling [the president] I wouldn't marry him,'' Frank said, "but then I thought, 'Nah.'"
The thing is, I'm sure that Bush IS personally open-minded on gays. That's what makes him so evil.

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Hillary Apologizes For Bill

After her win in Florida, last night Hillary Clinton appeared on CNN to apologize for her husband's recent clumsy and offensive campaigning. Good for her.

(Via - Talking Points Memo.)

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John Edwards Ends Presidential Bid

This is a bit of a shocker, especially with less than a week before Super Tuesday:
DENVER (AP) - Democrat John Edwards is exiting the presidential race Wednesday, ending a scrappy underdog bid in which he steered his rivals toward progressive ideals while grappling with family hardship that roused voter's sympathies but never diverted his campaign, The Associated Press has learned.

The two-time White House candidate notified a close circle of senior advisers that he planned to make the announcement at a 1 p.m. EST event in New Orleans that had been billed as a speech on poverty, according to two of his advisers. The decision came after Edwards lost the four states to hold nominating contests so far to rivals who stole the spotlight from the beginning—Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama.
Who will Edwards endorse???

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Kylie Minogue - In My Arms

I'm not very much of a Kylie fan and this new video isn't changing my mind, but some of my friends are more than a little bit obsessive about her. So for them, this.

UPDATE: I had embedded the clip, but EMI has pulled it already.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

McCain, Clinton Win Florida

No surprises in Florida:
MIAMI — Senator John McCain edged out Mitt Romney to win the delegate-rich Florida primary on Tuesday night, solidifying his transformation from left-for-dead candidate to a front-runner and dealing a devastating blow to the presidential hopes of Rudolph W. Giuliani, whose distant finish here threatened to doom his candidacy.

Mr. McCain’s narrow victory showed he could win in a state where only Republicans were allowed to vote — not just in states like New Hampshire and South Carolina, where his earlier victories were fueled in part by independent voters. And in Florida, even a slim victory is sweet: the state awards its 57 delegates, the most of any contest yet, on a winner-take-all basis.

With 90 percent of the precincts reporting, Mr. McCain had 36 percent of the vote, Mr. Romney 31 percent, Mr. Giuliani 15 percent and Mike Huckabee 13 percent.
With Clinton taking 50% of doesn't-really-count Florida vote and with no surprises on the Republican side, the network news focused on Giuliani's potential as a McCain running mate. They took special note that Giuliani's recent campaigning has included no disparagement of his fellow Republicans. He is expected to endorse McCain at a Republican debate in California on Wednesday.

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Mr. HomoPhoboRoboto

John McCain's campaign is homophobo-robo-calling Florida voters to put the fear of Jeebus in them regarding Mitt Romney's former support for gay rights. The transcript of the call:
“I’m calling with an urgent Mitt Romney [unintelligible]"

"We care deeply about traditional values and protecting families. And we need someone who will not waver in the White House: Ending abortion, preserving the sanctity of marriage, stopping the trash on the airwaves and attempts to ban God from every corner of society. These issues are core to our being.

"Mitt Romney thinks he can fool us. He supported abortion on demand, even allowed a law mandating taxpayer-funding for abortion. He says he changed his mind, but he still hasn’t changed the law. He told gay organizers in Massachusetts he would be a stronger advocate for special rights than even Ted Kennedy. Now, it’s something different.

"Unfortunately, on issue after issue Mitt Romney has treated social issues voters as fools, thinking we won’t catch on. Sorry, Mitt, we know you aren’t trustworthy on the most important issue and you aren’t a conservative

"Paid for by John McCain 2008.
Message: "Hey, I hate fags WAY more than HE does. Therefore I should be leader of the free world." What a country.

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Caption This


Money Talks For LGBT Rights

At a press conference at the NYC LGBT Community Center, today New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. announced that he will use the power of the NYC Pension Funds to pressure two dozen Fortune 1000 companies to offer sexual orientation and gender identity protections to their employees.
Thompson oversees the New York City Employees' Retirement System, New York City Police Pension Fund, New York City Fire Department Pension Fund, New York City Teachers' Retirement System and New York City Board of Education Retirement System.

Currently, the five Pension Funds have more than $110 billion in holdings. The Funds hold nearly 30 million shares worth nearly $2.2 billion in the companies announced Tuesday.

Thompson's announcement continues several years of pressure on companies in which the funds own shares. This year's targets are double the number of companies singled out last year Thompson said.
The list of companies targeted include ExxonMobil, EchoStar, and Fidelity National.

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Daily Grumble

So I had a few firemenz in my apartment last night. (Cue porn music...wacka wacka wacka.)

Sadly, they were here on business as the woman upstairs somehow set a flowerpot on fire, panicked, and hurled it onto her fire escape - where it set her other dead plants on fire too.

Two things. People, fire escapes are for escaping fire, NOT for you to create the illusion that you have a forest view. You live in Manhattan, deal with the bricks. Secondly, how the fuck do you set a flowerpot on fire? The firemen said it was probably a mishap with her gas stove-top. Why do people on this island insist on cooking with fire? Are we in the Stone Age? Microwaves are cheap and plentiful and there are twenty restaurants on every block.

And not one of the firemen was hot. Not one.

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Dems In Tight Race For NYC

Here in the heart of Clintonia, Barack Obama is a surprising four points away from Hillary, according to the latest poll.
A WNBC/Marist poll released last week found that although Mrs. Clinton had a 47% to 31% lead over Mr. Obama among likely New York State voters, he was far closer in New York City, drawing 39% of likely voters versus 43% for Senator Clinton. In recent weeks, Mr. Obama's support has been surging among black voters, a demographic he won 4 to 1 in South Carolina, according to exit polls, and whose turnout and support would likely be crucial in New York City.
A few weeks ago, I would have bet the rent that Hillary would dominate in NYC. It must be all the Punjabis For Obama.

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The Last Day Of Giuliani

It's good-bye Rudy Tuesday. After his expected trouncing in today's Florida primary, Rudy Giuliani will likely endorse John McCain. Yesterday Giuliani gave autographed baseballs to the reporters covering his campaign as a good-bye gift. I got yer good-bye right here, you asshat.

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Morning View - First & 69th


The Gays Are Killing Ford!

According to the wingnuts, The Gays are responsible for current woes of Ford Motor Company.
Maybe Ford Motor Company management can be forgiven for not taking seriously the American Family Association (AFA’s) call for its members to boycott the automaker in May 2005. The conservative Christian group launched the crusade against the second-largest U.S. automaker for giving money to gay rights groups, offering benefits to same-sex couples and actively recruiting gay employees.

Several Ford dealers, recognizing the threat, convinced the AFA to suspend its boycott while they tried to convince the company to be less aggressive in promoting gay-agenda causes. Ultimately, the dealers failed to change minds at the company’s Dearborn, Michigan headquarters.

AFA put the boycott back on in March 2006. AFA’s position, stated at its site, is that “Ford could have easily avoided this boycott had they desired to do so by simply remaining neutral in the cultural battles.


Now consider this: Last September, Ford had $27.4 billion in cash. The Truth About Cars blog, bringing back a nearly forgotten term from the late-1990s bubble, estimates that the company’s cash “burn rate” is $12-$14 billion per year. At that rate (excluding possible sales of assets, etc.), the company, which has already utterly mortgaged itself, could run out of money by the end of 2009.

That’s an awfully high price to pay for political correctness.
Of course, none of this has anything to do with the "recesssion", the price of oil, Ford's poor customer service record, uninspired vehicle design, foreign competition, or crappy fuel efficiency.

Remember boys, every time you suck a cock, Ford loses a sale. Why do you hate America?

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NOW Goes Nuts

Gadzooks, the New York chapter of NOW has completely lost their shit over Ted Kennedy's endorsement of Barack Obama. NY NOW's statement, via
Women have just experienced the ultimate betrayal. Senator Kennedy’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton’s opponent in the Democratic presidential primary campaign has really hit women hard. Women have forgiven Kennedy, stuck up for him, stood by him, hushed the fact that he was late in his support of Title IX, the ERA, the Family Leave and Medical Act to name a few. Women have buried their anger that his support for the compromises in No Child Left Behind and the Medicare bogus drug benefit brought us the passage of these flawed bills. We have thanked him for his ardent support of many civil rights bills, BUT women are always waiting in the wings.

And now the greatest betrayal! We are repaid with his abandonment! He’s picked the new guy over us. He’s joined the list of progressive white men who can’t or won’t handle the prospect of a woman president who is Hillary Clinton (they will of course say they support a woman president, just not “this” one). ‘They’ are Howard Dean and Jim Dean (Yup! That’s Howard’s brother) who run DFA (that’s the group and list from the Dean campaign that we women helped start and grow). They are Alternet, Progressive Democrats of America,, Kucinich lovers and all the other groups that take women’s money, say they’ll do feminist and women’s rights issues one of these days, and conveniently forget to mention women and children when they talk about poverty or human needs or America’s future or whatever.

This latest move by Kennedy, is so telling about the status of and respect for women’s rights, women’s voices, women’s equality, women’s authority and our ability – indeed, our obligation - to promote and earn and deserve and elect, unabashedly, a President that is the first woman after centuries of men who ‘know what’s best for us.’
The "ultimate betrayal"? I appreciate and value the work of NOW, yadda yadda yadda, but good grief. This is so over the fucking top. Poor Hillary, her strongest supporters just keep right on shooting her in the foot, don't they?

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Bears In Dresses

The New York Post (of all places) has a nice feature story today about designers Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra, who are set to show their latest line during Fashion Week.
The two met at the now-defunct club Sound Factory in 1994 and have been together, personally and professionally, ever since. Back then, Costello was doing costumes for Madonna's trippy "Bedtime Story" video - "I think that's kind of why I wanted to start helping," says Tagliapietra. They live and work in a modest, 1,000-square-foot railroad apartment in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, a third-floor walk-up. Their current intern - coincidentally, they say - looks exactly like they do: a burly, bearded young man in jeans, a flannel shirt and suspenders, more rustic lumberjack than refined couturier.
"Coincidentally." Right.

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The Kennedys-Obama Love Fest

Here's the video from today's Obama rally at American University where Sen. Ted Kennedy, JFK's daughter Caroline, and Ted's son, Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy (D-RI) lavished praise on Sen. Obama.

(Via- Towleroad)

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Prison Rape: The Board Game

The son of Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D) is selling "Don't Drop The Soap", a prison-themed board game in which players try to not be raped. John Sebelius, 23, is selling the game from the Kansas governor's mansion where he lives with his parents. From the game's site:
Fight your way through 6 different exciting locations in hopes of being granted parole. Escape prison riots in The Yard, slip glass into a mob boss' lasagna in the Cafeteria, steal painkillers from the nurse's desk in the Infirmary, avoid being cornered by the Aryans in the Shower Room, fight off Latin Kings in Gang War, and try not to smoke your entire stash in The Hole.
The governor says that she and her husband (a magistrate judge) are proud of their son's "talent and creativity."

I bet this gets turned into a video game. If it hasn't been done already.

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First In Line

Last night my cabbie, a Sikh, asked me who I was voting for in the primary. I told him I still had no idea and then rudely asked him, "Are you voting? Are you a citizen?" He said, "Oh, yes! I am citizen one year. Next week, I am FIRST in line." Maybe it was the beer, but I got a corny patriotic rush for him. He told me that "all the Punjabis" are voting for Obama. It will be fascinating to see how NYC's massive immigrant population decides to vote.


Manhattan Monday

-The new Bermuda Triangle: the AAA tows more disabled cars away from the area around the Empire State Building than any place in the city. It's suspected that the ESB's giant radio tower is disabling car locks and triggering those security systems that turn your car off when it's stolen.

-The MTA is expanding the tap-and-go payment system to some bus lines. But they are looking for something "smarter" than smart cards. Retina scans?

-Manhattan's population has declined by over one million in the last hundred years. Population in 1910: 2,762,522. Estimated 2006 population: 1,611,581. Yeah, it feels totally like a ghost town.

-If the Giants win the Super Bowl, the stock market will go up, according to the Super Bowl Stock Theory.

-The tuna in NYC's sushi restaurants is apparently loaded with mercury. Mmm, thermometery.

-West Village residents rallied this weekend in support of keeping Pier 40 a public park. Private companies are bidding for the pier. Proposals include a company that wants to build a $625 million performing-arts center there, including a permanent home for Cirque du Soleil and the Tribeca Film Festival.

-You think you've had bad online dates? At least yours didn't involve al Qaeda. Her solution: sue for $50M.


HomoQuotable - Dan Savage

"[W]hen I watch Obama speak live before a crowd… I’m thoroughly riveted. Can’t take my eyes off him. But for the wrong fucking reason: I find it hard to look away because I’m stressing out the whole time about the guy getting shot. The tension is terrible. I hope he’s got a great bunch of Secret Service agents around him at all times." - Dan Savage, on watching Barack Obama's victory speech in South Carolina.

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Ted Kennedy Endorses Obama

Ted Kennedy will follow the lead of his niece Caroline today and endorse Barack Obama. The announcement will come later today at an Obama rally at American University. Yesterday JFK's daughter, Caroline Kennedy, published an op-ed piece in the NY Times to say, "I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president — not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans."

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Monday Wake Up - Gary Toms Empire

From 1975, here's the Gary Toms Empire with their disco stomper 7,6,5,4,3,2,1 (Blow Your Whistle).

"Take your breakfast and get up"? Can that be right?

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Morning View - 2 Train


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Fake Steve Jobs Hates The Pope

Forbes senior editor Daniel Lyons, the guy who was revealed last fall as the author of the blog The Secret Diary Of Steve Jobs , stepped out his usual mocking of Apple culture to write a post titled Pope Blast Media In Pathetic Attempt To Boost His Own Pageviews:
Well it's the oldest trick in the book. Want to get some attention? Bash the media. They'll all come running. Which is exactly what the pope is doing. See here. Pope Benedict XVIVIXXXMFCL has gone on a trolling expedition and issued a fatwa on the press, under the title, "The Media: At the Crossroads between Self-Promotion and Service." Pope says of the media that "in order to attract listeners and increase the size of audiences, it does not hesitate at times to have recourse to vulgarity and violence, and to overstep the mark."

Seriously? The Roman Catholic Church, sponsor of the Inquisition and weekly distributor of flesh and blood to millions worldwide, is wringing its hands about violence? Really? And they're also concerned about vulgarity? Really? Have you seen this dude's classy red shoes? For that matter, have you ever seen the Vatican? Or St. Peter's? These are the people who are lecturing us about vulgarity? A bunch of rich gay Italian dudes who raised zillions of dollars by swindling the world's poorest, dumbest people, then squandered the money building Liberace's dream palace in Rome? Oh, and they're also upset because we like to buy iPods and watch dirty movies? And because we don't care if gay people want to marry each other?

Dear Pope Benedict: Blow me, you prissy old queen.
Love it.

(via - By The Bayou.)

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Obamunami In South Carolina

Barack Obama whupped the dickens outta Hillary Clinton down in South Cakalacky, winning 80% of the black vote in his 2-1 statewide landslide. That speaks volumes about the way blacks now view the Clintons, as the former president's negative campaigning in recent days pushed undecided voters squarely into the Obama column. He's definitely hurting Hillary more than helping her, something that might have been unimaginable a few months ago.

Even though we're not supposed to have a clear nominee until late August, Obama's momentum of late is formidable, to say the least.

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BiQuotable - Margaret Cho

"I too am insulted at the idea that just because I am a person of color and a woman that I should be expected to automatically vote for Obama or Hillary. Why are white men allowed to look at the issues and judge for themselves and the rest of us are expected to take sides grade school style? That is racist and sexist and dumb. That is like if all the stupid people voted for Huckabee (please God let this not happen).

"Still, I believe Obama and Hillary are the best candidates. I just think overall there are too many people running. It is like a reality show. It's like America's Next Top President. Why don't we just let Tyra decide? But then again she'd run into the same problem as Oprah. I hate that people are saying that Oprah is some kind of gender traitor because she is backing Obama. Don't even talk about Oprah unless you want to fight. I got a brick in my purse so watch it (remember, ladies -- something heavy inside something light = weapon). I think it is wonderful that Oprah is getting involved in politics. It is brave and exciting and gives me lots of hope for the future.

"I think that is what I love about Obama -- he represents hope. I would not be voting for him just because I am a person of color. Race has so little to do with it! He is all about change -- a new beginning. His youthful optimism appeals to me and his hope for the future enthralls me and these issues transcend race completely. I would be voting for Hillary because she has already been president for eight years and did an awesome job. So my choice really for the next president is going to be very well thought out; I am between Barack and a familiar face.

"Guess what America! People of color and women think! Just like white men! For reals!!!" - Margaret Cho, responding in the Huffington Post to this sarcastic comment posted on "Duh, I'm a black woman and here I am at the voting booth. Duh, since I'm illiterate I'll pull down the lever for someone. Hm... Well, he black so I may vote for him... oh wait she a woman I may vote for her... What Ise gon' do? Oh lordy!"

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Friday, January 25, 2008

No Relief On Super Tuesday

The way the delegate math is shaping up, Super Tuesday will not provide us with a clear Democratic leader. According to predictions, even after February 5th, Clinton and Obama will be within 10 percentage points of each other in delegate count and neither is expected to withdraw.

Can we really endure another seven months of this? The convention isn't until the last week in August.

I keep flashing back to Al Gore saying in December that he "wouldn't entirely rule out" his ever being a candidate again. Damn him for saying that. At least the Draft Gore movement officially closed up shop a few weeks ago, after the deadline to get him into the primaries became a "legal impossibility." But you never know. If the convention turns into the morass it's shaping up to be, how wonderful would it be to find Al Gore behind the curtain?

I know. I'm dreaming.


Those are in alphabetical order because right now I just can't give enough of a fuck about the three leaders. How's that for reasoned political analysis?

UPDATE: Interestingly, the "Question Of The Day" on CNN today is: "If the Democratic Convention is deadlocked, should Al Gore enter the race?"

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The World Is Watching

More than ever before, the U.S. election process has the rest of the world holding its breath.
DAVOS, Switzerland — To look at the reams of coverage in newspapers outside the United States or to follow the hours of television news broadcasts you might conclude that foreigners had a vote in selecting an American presidential candidate — or, at least, deserved one, so great is America’s influence on their lives.

From Berlin to London to Jakarta, the destinies of Democratic and Republican contenders in Iowa or New Hampshire, or Nevada or South Carolina, have become home-town news in a way that most political commentators cannot recall. It is as if outsiders are pining for change in America as much as some American would-be presidential candidates are promising it.

The personalities of the Democratic contest in particular — the potential harbinger of America’s first African-American or female president — have fascinated outsiders as much as, if not more than, the candidates’ policies on Iraq, immigration or global financial woes.

And there is a palpable sense that, while democratic systems seem clunky and uninspiring to voters in many parts of the Western world, America offers a potential model for reinvigoration.
From India's The Hindi: “We foreigners can but pray that the new president, whoever he or she may be, will return America to its strengths, values and the tradition of exporting hope and other optimism. And so help to lift America and the world up, not tear one another down.”

Here's hoping we don't let them down. Again.


Here We ENDA Again

Equality Florida is asking legislators to not support a gay rights bill because it does not include gender identity protections.
Gay political organizations are clashing over the best way to pass GLBT-friendly anti-discrimination bills through the Florida Legislature. The head butting is taking on strategic tones similar to those that emerged last year in the fight over the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in the U.S. Congress.

Gay rights organizations are taking different stances on whether to support a two-pronged effort that sends separate anti-discrimination bills through the Florida House of Representatives and the Florida Senate. If passed, House Bill 191 sponsored by Kelly Skidmore (D-Boca Raton) would ban employment and housing discrimination based on sexual orientation as well as gender identity and gender expression. Senate Bill 572, introduced by Ted Deutch (D-Delray Beach), bans discrimination based on sexual orientation only. Both bills are expected to go before the Florida Legislature during the spring session, which begins March 4.

There is little expectation that either bill will be successful in the conservative-dominated legislature. Last year, a similar bill that only included sexual orientation protections was not even read. Groups such as Equality Florida and the Palm Beach Human Rights Council have been active in seeking political support for the Skidmore bill. Equality Florida, however, a statewide GLBT political organization, has been lobbying legislators not to support the non-inclusive Senate bill.

"Our position is that we will not support a bill that leaves a portion of our community behind," said Stratton Pollitzer, deputy director of Equality Florida. "We believe in a fully inclusive bill."
With neither Florida bill expected to become law (as with the federal version of ENDA), what can be gained by once again ditching transgenders? Have we learned nothing?

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Pepsi Presents Central Park

OK, so it's not that bad. But still.
City officials revealed yesterday that they want to sell naming rights to popular Parks Department attractions to major corporations.

Officials have not said which particular locations are ready to be sold yet, but almost any major attraction in the city's parks and recreation system could be up for grabs.

That group includes the zoos that draw in thousands of visitors annually, the amphitheaters that pack in summer revelers, the gigantic swimming pools or scores of tennis-court clusters.
The Verizon Belvedere Fountain? The Taco Bell Bronx Zoo? The Coca Cola Cloisters?

Make. It. Stop.

"Tom of Finland Presents The Ramble" would be kinda funny.

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Hey, There's A NEW Mexico!

By a narrow margin, New Mexico's House of Representative approved a statewide domestic partners law that would grant gay couples the same rights and benefits as married couples. The legislation must now pass the state Senate before appearing on the desk of Gov. Bill Richardson. New Mexico's Senate Majority Leader, Michael Sanchez, D-Belen, is "cautiously optimistic" that the bill will pass in his chamber. The bill is part of Gov. Richardson's legislative agenda. Ten states and the District Of Columbia already have similar laws on the books.

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But The Lobby Is Pretty

First Avenue, Thursday, 10pm

Yuppie Woman 1: Wow, they really put those apartments up fast!
Yuppie Woman 2: What used to be there?
Yuppie Woman 1: Um, there was a bar and a bodega. Nothing good.
Yuppie Woman 2: Right.

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Obama Does Letterman's Top Ten

Barack Obama appeared on Letterman last night to perform the Top Ten List. Number one on Obama's "Top Ten Campaign Promises" was "Three words: Vice President Oprah."

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Broadway Friday

-The cast of Spring Awakening has been added to the performing lineup of Broadway Backwards 3, to be held at the American Airlines Theatre on Monday, February 4. Seth Rudetsky will host this gender-bending concert, which will feature a diverse cast of male singers performing songs traditionally performed by female singers, and vice versa, with all proceeds benefiting the LGBT Community Center.

- The Color Purple will close on February 24th after a 26-month run. While the show has always garnered mixed reviews, stunt casting (Fantasia, Chaka Khan) has kept attendance relatively high. The show will close having given 30 previews and 910 regular performances.

- Starring Daniel Evans and Jenna Russell, the revival of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Sunday In The Park With George begins previews today at Studio 54. The venue last hosted Terrence McNally's The Ritz.

- S. Epatha Merkerson is winning rave reviews in the revival of Come Back, Little Sheba at the Biltmore Theater. "Merkerson, best known for her role as Lt. Anita Van Buren on television's "Law & Order," radiates genuine warmth and generosity. Lola is a nice yet needy woman, and nice isn't easy to pull off if neediness turns to whining. Merkerson's performance is subtle, just about perfect in finding the right balance between sweet and syrupy."

- The Laurie Beechman Theatre has announced preliminary plans for A Concert for Hillary - Broadway and Cabaret in Support of the Clinton Campaign to take place on Monday, February 18th. Scheduled to appear thus far: Lisa Asher, Brandon Cutrell, Lina Koutrakos, Steven Lutvak, Liz McCartney, Jana Robbins, Seth Rudetsky, Stephen Schwartz, Gabrielle Stravelli, Alysha Umphress, Lennie Watts. Ray Fellman will serve as Musical Director, and the event is produced and directed by Phil Geoffrey Bond.


Im Augenblick

According to a new study, gaydar works faster than we thought.
They showed men and women photos of 90 faces belonging to homosexual men and heterosexual men for intervals ranging from 33 milliseconds to 10 seconds. When given 100 milliseconds or more to view a face, participants correctly identified sexual orientation nearly 70% of the time. Volunteers were less accurate at shorter durations, and their accuracy did not get better at durations beyond 100 milliseconds, the team reports in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. "What is most interesting is that increased exposure time did not improve the results," says Ambady.

Romantic attraction likely works just as fast, notes psychologist Paul Eastwick of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. "If people make accurate judgments about sexually relevant aspects of a person this quickly," he says, "you have to stop and wonder how we size up one another's romantic potential in a matter of milliseconds."
Just 100 milliseconds to clock a 'mo. The story doesn't mention the orientation of the testers, but I'd bet you and I could cut that down to 50 milliseconds, easy.

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Gibson Apologizes For Ledger Remarks

Fox News' John Gibson offered a weak apology yesterday for his cruel remarks about the death of Heath Ledger after an avalanche of angry emails and an action alert from GLAAD. Obviously, he's not really sorry, judging by that typical "if I offended anybody" crapola.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

NY Times Endorses Clinton & McCain

As expected, the New York Times today endorsed Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary.
As Democrats look ahead to the primaries in the biggest states on Feb. 5, The Times’s editorial board strongly recommends that they select Hillary Clinton as their nominee for the 2008 presidential election.


As strongly as we back her candidacy, we urge Mrs. Clinton to take the lead in changing the tone of the campaign. It is not good for the country, the Democratic Party or for Mrs. Clinton, who is often tagged as divisive, in part because of bitter feeling about her husband’s administration and the so-called permanent campaign.
We'll just have to see if Clinton will "change the tone". I'm not holding my breath.

As for the Times' endorsement of McCain, the more interesting bit is why they didn't endorse our former mayor.
Why, as a New York-based paper, are we not backing Rudolph Giuliani? Why not choose the man we endorsed for re-election in 1997 after a first term in which he showed that a dirty, dangerous, supposedly ungovernable city could become clean, safe and orderly? What about the man who stood fast on Sept. 11, when others, including President Bush, went AWOL?

That man is not running for president.

The real Mr. Giuliani, whom many New Yorkers came to know and mistrust, is a narrow, obsessively secretive, vindictive man who saw no need to limit police power. Racial polarization was as much a legacy of his tenure as the rebirth of Times Square.

Mr. Giuliani’s arrogance and bad judgment are breathtaking. When he claims fiscal prudence, we remember how he ran through surpluses without a thought to the inevitable downturn and bequeathed huge deficits to his successor. He fired Police Commissioner William Bratton, the architect of the drop in crime, because he couldn’t share the limelight. He later gave the job to Bernard Kerik, who has now been indicted on fraud and corruption charges.

The Rudolph Giuliani of 2008 first shamelessly turned the horror of 9/11 into a lucrative business, with a secret client list, then exploited his city’s and the country’s nightmare to promote his presidential campaign.
Giuliani is running out of money and is now polling third in Florida, supposedly his savior state. After next Tuesday, we'll be done with his sorry ass, hopefully forever.

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Kucinich Quits

Dennis Kucinich will announce tomorrow that he is ending his presidential bid. No big surprise here, other than his word that he will not endorse another candidate. This, after throwing his caucus support to Obama in Iowa. Interesting. Kucinich says that it's hard for him to continue to compete when he no longer is allowed into the debates. He will now seek a seventh term representing the Cleveland area in Congress.

Although he never really had a shot (the UFO thing really hurt), I was always impressed with Kucinich. Here's hoping he gets to take his advocacy for LGBT rights and marriage equality onto the floor of Congress once again.

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Reading For Filth: Next Wednesday

Here's the ad that will appear in tomorrow's bar rags for the next edition of Reading For Filth, in which I'll share the stage with Eric Leven, Sam J. Miller, Chadwick Moore, Jonny "The Gay Pimp" McGovern, and Sherry Vine. And no, I don't know who the model above is.

Rapture Cafe & Books is located on Avenue A in Manhattan's last funkytown, the East Village. I'm still working on my piece, which is tentatively titled Cat Eyes. The story is coming out a little different than my usual stuff, so hopefully it will go over well. Maybe if I get there early and soak up the open bar, it'll help.

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No Such Thing As Bad Publicity

Audiences of Cloverfield are literally being made sick by the movie.
"Cloverfield" is the first adrenaline-pumping monster hit of the year, bringing in more than $40 million dollars on its opening weekend. The thriller is told from the point of view of five young New Yorkers using their handheld camera. But for some viewers, being "part" of the movie is making them sick -- literally.

Theaters showing "Cloverfield" are posting warnings of possible motion sickness.

One blogger on the popular movie database said, "I had to get up and leave the theater for nearly 20 minutes just to keep from hurling." Other moviegoers have reported being nauseated and dizzy.
And here I thought they were just sick from yet another dumbass CGI flick in which Manhattan gets trashed. Yaaaawn.

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Ledger Story Derails Feds

What a world when the high road in the Heath Ledger story is taken by George Bush.
George Bush has postponed a scheduled statement promoting a federal advertising campaign on the dangers of prescription drug abuse. White House press secretary Dana Perino confirmed that the decision was taken in light of the death of actor Heath Ledger.

It is still unclear what caused the death of the 28-year-old Brokeback Mountain star, but prescription drugs are suspected to have played a role. "We thought it would be better to postpone the event rather than run the risk of anyone thinking that we were being opportunistic in highlighting the issue," Ms Perino said.
Good for Dubya. (OK, that really hurt to say.)

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"Get Over It, Kid"

I gotta admit, the "snow day voice mail" making the news kinda cracks me up. Some kid in Virginia called a school administrator to complain that that a snow day had not been declared. The administrator's wife called the kid back and ripped him a new one. Classic.


Yaz To Tour UK

Fab 80's pop music duo Yaz (Yazoo in the UK) is set to reunite for a tour of the UK in June. Comprised of (post-Depeche Mode/pre-Erasure) keyboardist Vince Clark and (Andy Bell sound-alike) Alison Moyet, Yaz only put out two albums, both huge favorites of mine: Upstairs At Eric's and You And Me Both.

The tour is in support of In Your Room, a "4-disc box set which includes remasters and 5.1 stereo mixes of both of Yazoo's classic albums (Upstairs At Eric's and You And Me Both), b-sides, remixes and a DVD featuring new interviews with Clarke and Moyet, along with the promo videos for Don't Go, The Other Side Of Love, Nobody's Diary, Situation (1990) and Only You (1999)."

Here's a clip of Yaz performing their smash hit, Don't Go.

After Yaz broke up, my friends and I became obsessive collectors of Alison Moyet's fantastic solo work, which featured such unforgettable classics as Love Resurrection, Invisible, and All Cried Out. Here's my all-time favorite Moyet track, Whispering Your Name, a song written by Jules Shear. Moyet doesn't change the lyrics, making it appear that she's singing about another woman. The clip features the always hilarious Dawn French, of the pre-AbFab duo French & Saunders, trying to make Moyet crack up during the song.

A better mix of Whispering Your Name can be found on this fantastic live performance clip. Oh, that last note! I last saw Moyet perform on the main stage at SF Pride 1999. Here's hoping the Yaz tour comes to the States. By the way, Alison Moyet is a blogger.

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Maryland Marriage Equality Bill
To Be Introduced Tomorrow

Maryland legislators will introduce a marriage equality bill tomorrow.
Two state senators, including one who is openly gay, will lead efforts to pass the Religious Freedom & Civil Marriage Protection Act in Maryland.

Sens. Rich Madaleno and Jamie Raskin, two Democrats from Montgomery County, were to be named as lead sponsors on the bill when it’s introduced. The bill was expected to hit the Maryland General Assembly no later than Friday.

“We’re up to 40 co-sponsors in the House and nine in the Senate,” said Carrie Evans, policy director at Equality Maryland. “We’re trying to pick up one more to make it a nice, even 50 for Friday.”

Written to make valid marriages of “two people,” the bill also makes clear that churches may continue to choose whom to marry. It was drafted after Maryland’s highest court in September upheld a state law restricting marriage to straight couples.
Lawmakers will stage an 11:30am press conference tomorrow to announce the bill's introduction.

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Fox News Mocks Ledger Death

Opening his radio show with funeral music yesterday, Fox News host John Gibson callously mocked the death of actor Heath Ledger, calling him a “weirdo” with a “serious drug problem.”

Playing an audio clip of the iconic quote, “I wish I knew how to quit you” from Ledger’s gay romance movie Brokeback Mountain, Gibson disdainfully quipped, “Well, he found out how to quit you.” Laughing, Gibson then played another clip from Brokeback Mountain in which Ledger said, “We’re dead,” followed by his own, mocking “We’re dead” before playing the clip again.
Way to stay classy, Fox News.

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Balkanizing America

Good Magazine has a fascinating article on the secession movement hitting some parts of the United States:
On October 3, 2007, delegates to the second North American Secessionist Convention met for two days in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to discuss how to crack the United States into manageable parts. They came representing 11 rebel groups in 36 states, under banners such as the Republic of Cascadia (wedding Oregon and Washington), Independent California (forging the world’s fifth-largest economy), the United Republic of Texas (returning the Lone Star State to its lonesomeness), the League of the South (uniting the states of old Dixie), and, spearhead of the effort, the Second Vermont Republic (separating Vermont from the United States). The dominant thought among the delegates was that what they call "the U.S. experiment” had failed. "What we have today in the combination of big business and big government is nothing less than fascism," Thomas Moore, the delegate from the Southern National Congress Committee, told the assembled. Dexter Clark, the white-bearded vice chair of the Alaskan Independence Party, was less cerebral: "No one ever fought a war for dependence," Clark said. "The people of Alaska are fed up—if ever there was a time ripe for change, this is it." The United States, the message in sum went, must end. It would have to be reborn smaller if the American dream was to have a hope in hell.
There have been various secession movements as long as the country has existed (I particularly enjoyed Key West's 1982 "secession" to become The Conch Republic), but the movement seems to have grown much louder in recent years. I wonder why?

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Clinton Busts Obama On Healthcare

Yowtch. Just posted by the Clinton campaign.

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Open Thread Thursday

What are you reading?


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Never Can Say Goodbye

Yup. Cher is gonna perform again.
Grammy® award winning performer Cher will begin performing at Ceasar's Palace in Las Vegas in May, 2008. Cher joins an exclusive list of stars to perform at Ceasars Palace that includes Celine Dion, Elton John and Bette Midler.
The Farewell Tour, Year 7.

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Matt Foreman To Resign From Task Force

The Bilerico Project is reporting that Matt Foreman will step down as Executive Director of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force in April to lead the Gay & Lesbian Program at the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund.
The Haas, Jr. Fund, located in San Francisco, provides more grant support to LGBT organizations than any non-gay-identified foundation in the nation.

“We cannot adequately express our gratitude to Matt for his exceptional leadership over the last five years,” said Mark Sexton, Task Force board co-chair. “During his tenure, our staff grew to 54 full-time positions and our budget more than doubled to nearly $10 million. Our programming expanded strategically, our public profile increased dramatically, we’ve granted nearly $5 million to state and local partners. And most importantly, the Task Force has played an essential role in building our community’s grassroots strength. He has truly been an inspiration to so many who believe in equality for the full breadth of our LGBT community.”

Foreman called working for the Task Force “the greatest honor of my life.”

“I will always love the Task Force, our work, our board, and our staff,” he said. “Having served for 18 years as the executive director at three LGBT organizations, I’m incredibly privileged to be able to continue to work in and for the movement in a new role at the Haas, Jr. Fund. I have no doubt that the Task Force will continue to be the uncompromising progressive voice of the LGBT movement and to thrive and help lead our community to complete equality.”

Alan Acosta, Task Force board co-chair, said a national search would begin immediately to find Foreman’s successor. Foreman will work with his senior executive staff in the interim to ensure a smooth transition to new leadership.

“We are blessed to have an extraordinarily strong and deep management team,” Acosta said. “Working with Matt, the senior leaders of the team have built a dynamic and well-run organization that is respected inside and outside the movement. We are in great shape to keep pushing our mission of building our community’s political power and continuing the outstanding successes of the Task Force over the last few years."
Matt Foreman has been a personal hero of mine since the day I watched the NYPD arrest him in the middle of Times Square during the ACT-UP protest of General Peter Pace. Every one of us is lucky to have a man like Matt Foreman fighting our fight. I look forward to watching his leadership at the Haas Fund.

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That's how many lies the Bush administration told in the time leading up to the start of the Iraq war.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A study by two nonprofit journalism organizations found that President Bush and top administration officials issued hundreds of false statements about the national security threat from Iraq in the two years following the 2001 terrorist attacks.

The study concluded that the statements "were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses."

The study was posted Tuesday on the Web site of the Center for Public Integrity, which worked with the Fund for Independence in Journalism.

White House spokesman Scott Stanzel did not comment on the merits of the study Tuesday night but reiterated the administration's position that the world community viewed Iraq's leader, Saddam Hussein, as a threat.

"The actions taken in 2003 were based on the collective judgment of intelligence agencies around the world," Stanzel said.

The study counted 935 false statements in the two-year period. It found that in speeches, briefings, interviews and other venues, Bush and administration officials stated unequivocally on at least 532 occasions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or was trying to produce or obtain them or had links to al-Qaida or both.
And how many SINCE then?

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Al Gore For Gay Marriage

Once again, I must express my regret that Gore isn't running this time.

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Edwards On Letterman

John Edwards was really funny on Letterman last night. Wait for the end where Letterman reaches out to mess up Edwards' hair.

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Poland To Defy New Adoption Rules

Polish leaders announced yesterday that they would not abide by the new ruling from the European Court of Human Rights which declared that gays couples have the right to adopt. A recent poll in Poland showed that 93% are against gay adoption.

The European Court of Human Rights is not a European Union authority, but is a creation of the Council of Europe. Poland and the UK are the only nations in the 27-member EU not to sign on to the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights. New elected Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk had previously promised to sign the charter, but has now backed out.

Tomasz Szypula, the head of Poland's Campaign Against Homophobia said, "Poland is not going to protect its citizens on equal level as 25 other EU member states. In Poland there's no anti-hate speech, anti-hate crime, anti-discriminatory laws which mention sexual orientation and now there won't be the Charter of Fundamental Rights."

Why hasn't the UK signed the charter? Anyone?

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CWA Offers Poisoned Olive Branch

Via their spokeshater Matt Barber, the Concerned Women Of America wants to ally with gay rights groups to fight the spread of MRSA and call for the closure of all bathhouses and sex clubs.
"We now have a wonderful opportunity for ideological opponents to come together for the common good. Steps must be taken to keep this MRSA outbreak, which is occurring within certain segments of the homosexual community, from becoming a more widespread epidemic.

"HRC and other homosexual groups have a profound leadership role in their communities and a responsibility to protect their members from behaviorally related threats to their health and well-being. Therefore, these groups should publicly condemn those specific 'high-risk behaviors' which this study has concluded are responsible for spreading MRSA among homosexuals.

"We're asking HRC and other groups to denounce, through word and deed, 'sex with multiple partners,' 'group sex [parties]' and to actively promote the notion that it is never okay to 'use methamphetamine and other illicit drugs.'"

"In light of this behaviorally related MRSA outbreak," said Barber, "we additionally ask HRC and other groups to call on local health agencies to shut down the many bathhouses and sex clubs around the country where men meet for anonymous sex with other men, often multiple partners, on a daily basis. These places create the 'perfect storm' for infectious disease, including MRSA.

"Now's the time for us all to come together," concluded Barber. "Let's do what needs to be done to help curtail this regrettable MRSA outbreak.
No response as of yet from the HRC. Note that Barber makes no call for the closure of any of the country's thousands of strip clubs and straight sex venues. The city of New York estimates that the city's four bathhouses only see about 2500 customers per week. Out of what, 500,000 queers? Seems like a drop in the bucket compared to what straights have available.

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Phelps Clan To Picket Ledger Funeral

The Westboro Baptist Church plans to picket Heath Ledger's funeral.
Yes. WBC will picket this pervert's funeral, in religious protest and warning: "Be not deceived; God is not mocked." Gal. 6:7. Heath Ledger thought it was great fun defying God Almighty and his plain word; to wit: God Hates Fags! & Fag Enablers! Ergo, God hates the sordid tacky, bucket of slime seasoned with vomit known as 'Brokeback Mountain' - and He hates all persons having anything whatsoever to do with it. Heath Ledger is now in Hell, and has begun serving his eternal sentence there - beside which, nothing else about Heath Ledger is relevant or consequential.
Here's hoping the funeral takes place in Australia, which may be too far for the Phelps' finances to allow. And "MAL 1-3"? What is that, the hours of beer bust at Mid-Atlantic Leather?

(Via - Towleroad.)

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MAL 2008 Recap

Here's a few pics from MAL 2008, including some from the puppy play party that you've been clamoring for. The guy with the rope in his mouth wasn't wearing all the gear that the other puppies were, but he was the most fun one to watch, maybe because we could see his face. Method acting.

I don't do many of these leather events anymore - I haven't been to IML since 2000 and this was my first MAL in five years. With the advent of puppy play and a few other burgeoning fetish scenes, these events make me feel super-vanilla. You're standing there listen to a group of guys chatter excitedly about what they might wear to the underwear party and you think, "Oh. I didn't bring any "show" underwear." Not that I have any. And when I told somebody that I wasn't wearing chaps because I'd "outgrown" mine, he suggested that everybody should keep around a pair of "fat chaps". Well, I've definitely got a pair of fat jeans. Somebody else floated the concept of Sansa-belt chaps. Shudder.

So aside from hanging out in the lobby of the host hotel, I pretty much skipped all the events, including the pageant itself, even though I was rooming with Mr. Fire Island Leather 2007. And that title wasn't handed to him on a silver platter. He worked for it. (Anyone? Anyone?) Here's a brief clip of the dance floor of the closing party Reaction Dance at 9:30 Club. As with my Saint NYE video, the audio is totally borked.

I had a great time at the Reaction Dance, although the evening started out with the usual gay disco coat-check disaster when the upstairs coat-check became full and closed abruptly, sending the livid crowd (who'd been already been waiting 45 minutes) downstairs to wait in another long line. Ooh, people were screaming.

DJ Warren Gluck, who I hadn't heard since the ill-fated and one-time-only Los Angeles Morning Party in 1998, was great. I forgot to bring my notepad, but here's a short list of what I can recall Gluck playing: Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Welcome To The Pleasure Dome, The O'Jays- Love Train, Ram Jam - Black Betty, Chimera - Show Me Heaven, Sunscreem - Outlaw, and the classic anthem of Hillside Campground, I Just Wanna Fuckin' Dance.

On the way into the party, a carload of black girls spotted this guy waiting in the line and pulled over to scream, "Work them heels, bitch! WORK 'EM!" The gentleman in question turned around and and said, "I beg your pardon?" Totally cracked up everybody in line. A great moment. And he totally has the legs for the outfit.

All in all, it was a great weekend. Even though I'm definitely far on the periphery of the "scene", I was surrounded by dear friends at all times. And what more can you ask than that?

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