Power to the People

Sometimes we forget that the smallest states have a rather large power-base that is not compromised by the largest populations that are scattered around the country. Currently, I live in a frickin’ city that is nearly 8 times the population of the State of Maine, where I used to live. My current NEIGHBORHOOD in the SUBURBS has over TWICE THE PEOPLE of Caribou! Sometimes it just amazes me, but other times I still think “WTF? Why do they live in Maine?”

But then, something wonderful happens, and you realize that Maine is pretty damn cool for several reasons. Not the least of which are the wonderful people that have all worked at ATX, throughout it’s nearly 15 years in business.

Today, however, Susan Collins, one of the two Senators from Maine, has begun the process of investigating why, after spending billions of dollars to create the Department of Homeland Security were we unable to actually mobilize in time to positively affect the level of destruction we predicted would be caused by Katrina.

In case you don’t have a clue as to how the Senate determines power, it’s on two levels. The first is that every state in the U.S. has two senators, no more, no less, and that means that a state with a population of less than a million people has the same power as a state with 50 Million people – at least, that’s the first part of the power.

The second, and more intriguing part of the power of Senators is their longevity in office. The longer in office, the higher their power – until they screw up and praise someone for being a racist prick, of course. So that means that by being consistent in choosing even just OK people to represent their state in the Senate, small states can end up with Amazing Power. Maine’s Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins have not been in the Senate for very long, having been first elected to the Senate in 1994 and 1996 respectively, however that means they’ve both been re-elected and have the confidence of the state. They are both admirable women who work very hard to get what they want, which you have to admire even if you disagree with their stance. And the longer they are in the Senate, the more powerful and therefore influential they will become – and that is generally a good thing for Maine.

Katrina and the International News

Hey, I’m trying to be interesting but between putting out a magazine and trying to edit a couple of wedding videos and some other side work, it’s hard to come up with stuff that people will want to read. Ah well, I am trying, and I promise to once again get on the ball.

One a side note: where did the phrase “on the ball” come from? I’m going to go with the absurd and say that it has to do with seals, Michael Jordan and a night he’d rather not remember. Either that or it’s yet another carpenter’s saying involving a level. Regardless, I want to know.

But back to the main point of this story: I was chatting with my mom today, as that is our normal form of communication, and she decided to rant. Basically, with all the damage that Katrina has caused, she wanted to know where the support and sympathy of other nations was. In fact, she was livid, to the point of dropping a texted f-bomb more than once, and I believe her final statement was “well, to put it bluntly… fuck ’em!” and, honestly, if they hadn’t given sympathy, which, after all, only requires a press release, not even a televised or radio speech, then yes, mom, I agree.

I, of course, being me, thought about it for half a second then asked if she’d heard any news from anywhere other than the affected states and her local news. She hadn’t, nor had I. Not because the rest of the world stopped turning as we dealt with the weather, but because our news organizations don’t really care about what happens in the rest of the world unless Americans are somehow involved. That’s how we operate, and it’s not ever going to change, it seems. And to prove the point, I did a Google to find out if one of our usual allies, and by that I mean since 1946 or so, had offered sympathy or support of any kind. And, of course, they had. And so mom was placated, and we found out that, once again, the news leaves out important things in order to make their story “sell”.

And if their story is their soul, how much did it go for, I wonder?

Long week

I’ve been trying to keep up the posting, trying to make the blog more interesting and less of a waste of digital space and everyone’s time. I’m apparently unable to do this because it’s become social acceptable for morons to make comments that are beyond mean and stupid, and actually require me, the kind, loving, demure person that I am, to LITERALLY COUNT TO TEN. SEVERAL. TIMES!

I don’t know what these people are smoking, but get with the program. I once cleared an entire two-story office building because I was upset at my bank. Granted, they emailed me with all my personal information… all of it, including my mother’s maiden name, my birthday and my driver’s license number, as well as the usual list of personal data. So yeah, I put my impressive lungs and overactive mind to ruining the career of some poor schmuck who probably wasn’t directly involved after all, but who had made the mistake of telling me she was in charge. Poor her. And hell, Laurie, who knows and loves me, was part of the mass exodus because, to use her words, I was “freaky angry, and not just a little scary” which, I think, is a good warning to everyone else.

If I scare my best friends when I’m angry, why do fools continually try to make me mad? Is there some contest going on that I don’t know about? Regardless, patience is not my strong point, but I’ve been holding my temper. It shall not last, however, so someone is going to very soon discover just how mean I can be. I’m going to filet someone verbally, and everyone in the Greater Houston Area shall know.

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This one is for my mother…

But it’s a legit question – If you are so concerned that the Supreme Court of the United States of America should be using the ideas, ideology and morals of a foreign nation, as you said you were, why would you feel comfortable with anything that comes from Justice Scalia?

For those of you just joining us, I’ve been reading the news again, and yet again, one of my favorites, Christopher Hitchens, writes about the background maneuvering that goes on in Washington, which in this case involves Judge Roberts, the nominee to replace Sandra Day O’Connor.

You see, Roberts, like Scalia, Thomas and Kennedy are all Catholic, and in case you somehow missed this in World Culture or whatever your Social Sciences course was called in High School, the Catholic Church is also a country – with diplomats and it’s own laws. And sometimes that country does things that our country, the good ol’ U.S. of A., doesn’t approve of – like Cardinal Law. Bernard, not some new rule for those in red.

But the bigger point that I’d like to make is for my mom, who got all fired up that Kennedy used the findings of foreign nations to determine what direction the U.S. should go – not because she disagreed with the direction, which was to not administer capital punishment to juveniles, but the idea of taking a foreign idea and applying it to America is abhorrent to her. Think nature and a vacuum, and you’ve got my mom looking at Justice Kennedy.

And while that may be how she really feels – and I don’t doubt her, I just think it’s foolish – I know she didn’t think it all the way through. You see, the Catholic Church has threatened to excommunicate people who don’t legislate with Catholic ideals. I believe that is close to calling Anathema on a person, but I’m not positive on that.

Should Roberts get the post as Justice on the SCOTUS and a case involving abortion comes before him he’ll have an interesting choice – do what the Pope says and impose THE WILL OF A FOREIGN NATION on the U.S., or read the law as it’s stands. And regardless of his actions, it’s a no-win situation for him, because the moment he says anything, the press will fry him. And Scalia and Thomas will probably fry as well, especially Scalia since he got all huffy and wrote his dissenting opinion on taking the ideas of a foreign land to home were, Kennedy alone can stand and not be counted a hypocrite. What’s more, the Catholic Church has not threatened excommunication on politicians and judges and others for not removing the death penalty. We see, yet again, that the entire church can be hypocritical and hysterical in it’s inability to get it’s story figured out.

So mom, and the rest of you out there reading this, what do you think? If you don’t want the ideals, ideology and morals of another country imposed on this land, do we let Catholics on the bench? I know where I stand on this, and I’ll let my mom comment before I state it.

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Today is a brand new day

Well, yesterday has finally seemed to be coming to an end, and while I’m a bit freaked out over a mess I’ve created for work, I’m going to get over that. More important matters have arrived, not the least of which is myself finally getting to Helena from Houston via Salt Lake City, home of dooce after spending, I kid you not, the entire paleolithic era inside a Boeing 737. (Go read the dooce entry I linked, it’s the only reason I’m going to relax now)

Flying from Houston generally requires, at least during Hurricane Season, a signed hall-pass from God. I, once again, have not been to his house to get one, and so was stuck in the damn thing for three hours while we neither left the gate or were fed/watered/liquored up. I mean, come on, if we have to sit there forever, give a guy some whiskey. That way my comments can be LOUDER!

I did have an interesting time chatting with the girl seated next to me, who, for reasons of her father’s employment, will be living in Aberdeen, Scotland for the next few years. Hate her. But she was quite bright and terribly funny. Between the two of us, we had the area around us cracking up, because the pilot was a dolt who couldn’t tell us anything, and so we decided to make up new announcements for him. I have to say, I wasn’t the funniest of us, either, that goes to her.

My best line was, “In the unlikely event of a water landing, we’ve actually arrived at Salt Lake.”

Her best was: “Should we actually become airborne, party hats will drop from the ceiling and the pilot will chug a bottle of tequila.”

I could only laugh and ask who was to eat the worm. But I’m here for THE WEDDING and will be ushering, as a groomsman and filming the entire production. And if all goes well with some technological wizardry, we’ll be broadcasting it to some lovely folks in Houston as well. Stay tuned, I’ll let you know how this goes!

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07-07-2005

Ok, so I get up this morning and get to work and for once, don’t read the news and don’t open iChat and don’t spend any time doing anything but calling people and setting up appointments for RED and really thinking that I want to get laid and should be spending more time on Terry who is one of the loveliest people on the planet, and who, it so happens, lives in London.

I didn’t read the news, but I did read his email, as they are few and far between because he’s exceedingly busy running a very impressive and successful Design Firm and I was confused. I felt I’d lost my mind and perhaps a few emails from him. The email, in it’s entirety said this:

Subject: Ian and I are okay…

Dear Friends and Family,

Just a quick note to let you all know that Ian and I are okay…

Love to you all.

Terry

And me, again, being a caring and loving friend who had yet to read the news thought ‘Huh? Is something wrong with their relationship?’ and thus sent this reply:

Dear Terry & Ian,

why would I have thought you weren’t?

Ok, so I have been WAAAAY out of touch, sorry about that. I’m glad to hear you two are doing ok, and I don’t really need to know if there was drama or whatever… and I truly wish you all the best as the years roll by, because you two are pretty damn cute together and really love each other!! That’s a truly special thing, and I’m glad to know you both!!!!

much love,

kev~!

Um yeah, and then the reply,

Hi Kev,

You silly girl! Uhh… huhuhuhuhu… terrorist attacks here in London… DUUUHHHH!!!!! But we are both O.K… (and of course still damn cute together…)

;)

Love,
Terry

Which really shows how much more calm about tragedy the Brits are, as opposed to us in the U.S. My heart goes out to all those affected by this violence, and I know that with the cameras that blanket London it’s only a matter of time before we find the fuckers involved and have them strung up as a warning to others. Unless we let Bush lead us to war in the wrong place, again, of course.

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It’s not about the Children, damn you!

You know, I really hate people who can’t protect children in their own sacred buildings trying to tell the world that gays proclaiming that they are stable, loving couples are threats to our society. Or worse, to the world. MSNBC has the scoop, and yet again, when it comes to a battle that can’t be won on logic or even the bible, hate groups fall back on that old standard, “the children”.

“The most overlooked and disenfranchised group in the current debate about marriage is that of children,” Calgary Bishop Frederick Henry said in a recent statement.

“The issue is not whether traditional marriage, as it stands, is a perfect institution, but whether society and especially children are better off with it than without. Families with both mothers and fathers are generally better for children than those with only mothers or only fathers. Biological parents usually protect and provide for their children more effectively than non-biological ones.”

I would like to point out all the insults contained in those few words:

  • If you are a single mother, you aren’t raising your child right. So my sister Bridget, who is raising a very bright, well-behaved and well-adjusted wonderful girl, Kirsten, is doing something wrong. According to the Catholic Church, anyway.
  • If you are a single father, you aren’t raising your child right. I don’t have a child, or a male sibling, but I know a few single fathers, and if anything, they have to work harder to prove they are doing a good job with their kids, yet once again, instead of offering help, even if just prayers, The Church insults and slaps these people.
  • Biological parents are better than non-biological parents. My mom and uncle were adopted by the people I know as my grandparents, and while they have some biological link, it’s not of parents, obviously. And my mom’s biological parents died of alcoholism, and didn’t exactly leave their kids better off. It took a few years and lots of trauma before two loving people stepped up and adopted my mom and my uncle. And there were never two better people on the planet. And they were Catholic, as was the entire rest of the family, we’re Irish after all. I wonder what Grandpa Jim and Grandma Sporty are thinking now that they’ve been slapped with “not good enough” by The Church.

While I don’t know it all, and I don’t even pretend to know it all, I think it’s terribly pathetic that The Church, which is led by Those Men, can’t think that any display of LOVE is a good thing. That anyone willing to commit to another is a good thing. That God doesn’t make mistakes, and we are NOT sins of his.

I am a child of God. I have my trials and tribulations, I have my questions, my fears, my hopes, my dreams, my life, and above all, my loves.

My family loves me, and I love them. Sometimes we all drive each other nuts, sometimes we all do stupid things, and sometimes we hurt those we love without ever realizing it. These are the only truths that I have.

I can’t be perfect, I’m not trying to be. But neither will I stand back and be silent while my family is denigrated by men who are so out of touch with humanity as to think that no matter what the cost, gay marriage must be stopped. They go too far, they wound too much, and frankly, they are wrong. I hope you can see that. I also hope the next pope won’t be blind.

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Yes, Viriginia, the Poodle was once Wild, but still a Poodle!

Oh for the love of pete! In aNYTimes (free registration required) article on Savannah, a mixed breed cat, we find that politicians are losing their minds already. Here’s the quote:

That’s not the way State Senator Carl L. Marcellino of Syosset, N.Y., sees it. Mr. Marcellino, the Senate sponsor of the state’s exotic pet law, objects to the Savannah cat as something alien to the animal universe.

“Breeders are creating animals for commercial purposes that would never exist in the natural world,” he said. “These hybrid species are threats to the environment and potentially to the families who think they are buying a family pet and could be purchasing a wild animal.”

And let me tell you, that’s just absolute folly. Where do you think dogs came from? Did heaven send the pink poodle to my mom on her 16th birthday? No, my grandparents did. And where did they get the poodle? From a pet store. And how did the poodle get to the pet store? By breeding it. And breeders created the breed over the course of centuries. Don’t think they didn’t, it’s not a natural thing, it’s man mucking with genetics in a crude way, but still, it’s genetic engineering.
This senator is a twat! Someone needs to vote him out of office, now, before he becomes a national menace.

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FOAAW:2

Ok, so I didn’t write about this at the time, because I didn’t think it was really my issue. But now that it’s happening yet again, I’m less than pleased, and it’s my issue this time.

Back story: In late 2003 my friend Laurie, who is the best friend a gay man living in Caribou Maine could ask for, had to see her husband Andrew shipped off to Afghanistan because of the issues there. Without getting into the stupidity of war or the fact that it was necessary in both places, it was hard to see Andrew leave. Laurie was bummed, not just for the extra work she’d have to do raising her then barely 2 year old son Owen, but for Andrew as well, who would return to find his baby boy a rather amazing nearly 4 year old. And as for what she felt for Owen, tears and tears and tears. That kid missed his dad so much that every time you point a camera at him, regardless of who is holding it and to this very day, he smiles and yells, “Hi Daddy!!!!” BREAKS. YOUR. HEART!

Andrew did return, safe and sound, and things are going well for the family, and while I’ve moved away, I’m glad I was there for Laurie and Owen during the whole event.

I have to point out, however, that I was just a friend, doing what I think friends should do – be there. Let me repeat that. Friends should be there! There were plenty of people who told Laurie that they would be there for her while Andrew was off serving his country – for the second time in 4 years, while his son was growing in amazing ways without him, as a member of the Maine Guard who, really, should be, um, well. I don’t know. GUARDING MAINE?! Anyway. Those ‘friends’ weren’t there. Laurie mentioned it to me right after Andrew returned home how many of them reappeared, like he’d never been gone, and neither had they. Fuckers.

And I’m not calling them fuckers because I think they got away with something, they didn’t. I just don’t like people who say they are your friend but turn out to be nothing more than bar-flies, without the bars.

So now it’s round 2. For those of you can’t figure out FOAAW, it’s Friend Of An Army Wife. This time, less than two weeks after arriving in the beautiful City of Houston, I get to watch as Richard is sent to Iraq. I get to watch as Janna churns over in her head all the horrible possibilities and maybes that are faced by anyone who sends a loved one overseas. And unlike the naivete that I not only embraced but enjoyed, I know what’s going to happen. I know the sleepless nights that are coming when a phone call is missed. I know the dread that comes from any phone call from an unknown number. I know the angst and horror of just not knowing, but reading the news and hearing the worst, and thinking “and he’s there.”

I cannot serve my country, as I am gay. My country won’t let me. I’m very proud to know some of the amazing people who do serve. And I would give anything to not have to ask anyone else to serve so that my friends wouldn’t have to go through this.

To make matters worse, the military’s inability to figure out how to schedule itself has turned their last week together into their last night together, with them both hoping for another tonight. I hope they get two or three, honestly, but we all know that won’t happen. So Richard is off to the Middle East, and Janna is here in Houston, me at her side. Hopefully, it’s just to stand here and wait with her as Richard is returned safely to her at the end of his tour. Please, please please let that be the case.

I can’t really remember what it is like to lose someone that close, as death had taken most of my family when I was young, and the rest of my family and most of my friends are so onery we won’t ever die. I know a bit from another friend who lost her lover-and-soon-to-be-fiancée, and I can honestly say that scared me immensely. I know what it is to be a friend, and to be the FOAAW and I won’t ever let my friends down. I just don’t want to be needed, as much as I know I will always be there.

The Pope can Bite me!

Top News Article | Reuters.com

Let’s be real, the Pope is an old dude in a white silk gown wearing enough jewels to make Liberace wince, so he has absolutely no right to tell me that who I am and my fight for equal rights is somehow part of the evil of the world.

Let’s be quite clear, hate is the problem we have in this world. Hate is why the world is in such horrible shape. The Muslims hate the Jews hate the Protestants hate the Catholics hate the Hindi hate the Muslims. It’s a nice circle of hate, and wow, there’s the Pope as one of the points of that compass.

What the world needs now is more love, not less. Of all the people, the Pope should know that.

Sorry that this post is so short, but really, I had to say something.

Why I Left College

“It’s not like…” tends to be the way I begin my writing. That and “It’s almost as if…” which I think is a sign that I’m losing my mind and the creativity that has been core to who I am. I’m not one of those people who blindly accepts facts because someone in authority says them. Authority is notoriously overrated, and frankly, I like to find out about things on my own. Which is why college was such a tremendous pain in the ass, and why I left early. Well, partly.

Recently there has been a bit of a brouhaha about Ward Churchill who is a complete moron with tenure. Apparently, some people think this is a new thing. For a more complete read on this topic, start here. Once again, it’s Dahlia Lithwick proving that she should be heading up a school, and I would be the first to apply. I might possibly be the first to be expelled, too.

I find it interesting that the article pushes aside the bigger complaint about colleges in that there are morons who enforce the status quo on the campus, which tends to be a liberal bias with a decidedly conformist bent, to the extent that they expect college campuses to really be a group of individuals who all think alike.

I did not get along with many of my professors. I was combative, antagonistic, hard-headed and bright. I’ve managed to keep all of those traits through 15 years in the corporate world, however I can’t imagine that I’ve kept them at the same levels. I used to be upset when someone told me a truth without letting me figure out. I’ve got better things to do now, like figure out a way to make the truth unimportant. Always fun for the Christians of the world, to be sure.

I like puzzles, but I’m sure that the puzzles that I like are the ones that upset the apple cart for most everyone around me. Such is life, folks, change is the only constant, and I happen to enjoy it.

I’ve learned many things about myself since leaving school, and in many ways, I think people like me lose more in school than we gain. In the 11 years since college, I’ve found that I can think critically and not have to remember dates of wars or the cosine of anything. I can analyze a process and decide if it’s a good thing or needs change, and can apply my mind to finding out how to make things better. All good puzzles are just that – finding a better way.

And a better way for schools has to be found. A friend is writing a book showing how his schooling is taking away his mind, and I happen to agree with the premise and I even, bless my liberal thinking, think he’s right about the reasons – even though the reasons are the liberal foolishness that takes away the ability to truly create.

There is no passion on campus outside a mob.
This is the basic problem with college when I was there, and I suspect it’s always been the problem for people like me, is that it’s about conformity and regurgitation. And while I’d like to use this as an excuse for why I didn’t get a degree, the truth is, I just don’t believe in one. Every person that I’ve met who has a degree is using about 1% of what they learned in school and 99% of their own thinking, creativity, passion and beliefs. They got the degree because they are reasonable people who understand that having a degree gives you a leg up in the world, but doesn’t give you a free ride. Even scientists who have doctorates in whatever it is they chose, had to take a few undergrad courses that, if nothing else, wasted their time. In some cases, those other courses were so far from what they wanted in college, I’m sure it knocked a few points off their IQ for a year or two. I’ve met a few of these people, and I share their angst, minor though it may be when viewed through the lens of years.

My life-ride has been less than easy, and I’ve gone places I’ve never expected, done amazing and amazingly stupid things. I pride myself on not putting up with much B.S., and frankly, those slips of papers from colleges and universities are just pretty ways of saying “Yes, I can put up with some level of bullshit from you, you should hire me.” and that’s not me. Not at all.

And now we have a college that schedules a speech by another college’s faculty and finds itself at the center of hate mail and death threats because of the idiocy of the schools. Not the school that hired Churchill, nor the school that scheduled the speech, but all the schools in the nation that churn out graduates at an ever-expanding rate without ever teaching them to think.

There was a time in this nation when people read the newspaper for news. There was a time in this nation when the teacher could discipline the student and make them pay attention or get out of the class so that others could learn. At least, I think there was, but I have no proof.

However, it’s not too late to teach kids to think. I’m much better at thinking than memorizing, although I have a pretty weird memory, which comes from my mother. Playing Trivial Pursuit with her was a good way to see just how much useless and esoteric minutia was retained by our gray matter, and the amount was usually staggering. But that’s because we both learned in school that learning wasn’t important, just memorize the B.S. and call it a day.

And be sure to go along with the crowd, it’s easier for all concerned.

However, my best memories of school are of in class debates that were few and far between because of the blood pressure generated by the dumb kids. I’d constantly take the unpopular side, and growing up and realizing that I’m queer, this does make some sense. I’m usually on the outside of any topic.

But the bullies and popular kids would have to defend themselves from me and a few other kids. We had the ability to think, create, and deduce. We could follow an argument to it’s logical-yet-disturbing conclusion to stop the other side from ‘winning’ because they were locked into the dogma. We were our teachers’ prides-and-nightmares all rolled into soft cotton t-shirts and raggedy jeans. I was just generally a nightmare for them, however, because I lacked a filter to stop me from saying what I thought. I still lack that filter, and now my vocabulary includes more vicious and dangerous words. Which is always fun.

But again, those days when we got to prove that we could think were few and far between. They were the real treats at school, although having a day when gym was cancelled was a close second, as being both fat and queer didn’t lead to a positive gym experience, even with the showers.

I think it’s very sad that Bill Gates thinks that we need more international programming students in order for this country to survive. What he’s really saying is that U.S. schools don’t teach our kids, so we have to import our future. It’s sad. And why do American students choose ‘easier’ courses away from the sciences? Because they are easier. All those courses require is that you regurgitate facts and remember it all – there is not much thinking involved, and very little creativity. And science is very hard to learn if you’ve never been taught to think.

The Aviator

It’s late as most people reckon things, but I have to post this. I just saw The Aviator. Amazing. Absolutely amazing. I’m a pretty big fan of aviation anyway, and I know a lot of it’s history, but Howard Hughes was so critical to how we see aviation today, it cannot be overstated. Yes, the airlines have problems. Hell, the two airlines that started it all, Pan Am and TWA are both history. TWA was Hughes’ airline, and frankly, he probably revolved in his grave when it died. If you want to know more about the history of aviation, it, like all things good, can be found online. Full disclosure: My father is a pilot, as is my grandfather and my grandmother, and if I’m not mistaken, a few cousins are as well. I am not, as I prefer to be served free booze from micro-bottles while relaxing in the air. I did, however, work at Garrett Aviation for about two years, which was interesting, as it spanned the events of September 11, 2001.

But I digress. History is one thing, the movie is another – usually. I know that there are parts that are made up or insinuated from half- or less-than-half-known facts. Regardless, this movie was fantastic. Amazing set work, visual design, everything, gave us, the audience, a chance to be there. It was amazing!

Alan Alda was breath-taking as the senator from Maine that was owned by Pan Am. His role should earn him many awards, the highest, of course, being right of first refusal of every male character aged 50 and over.

Leonardo DiCaprio was stunning in his portrayal of Hughes. We all know from our history that Hughes was eccentric, and if you’ve done any study of him, you’ve heard about OCD and some others. I would guess, purely non-clinical of course, that it was a combination of OCD and Aspergere’s Syndrome that afflicted Hughes. Again, regardless of what exactly it was, Leo was phenomenal. He deserves many more roles, and I’m not a huge fan of his. At least, I wasn’t. Although, thinking on it, I did enjoy The Basketball Diaries, but I’m almost positive that was because of the masturbation-on-the-roof-with-the-New York-skyline scene.

Cate Blanchette. There is only one word: BrilliantFantasticAmazingStunningWOW. Trust me, it’s a word. It’s the only one you can use to describe her as Kathryn Hepburn. Cate as Kate was brilliant casting, and Cate captured the stiff-spined and unflinching spirit of Kate and brought her full bloom to the screen. Every moment Cate was there, Kate was there, and we were taken back to the Hollywood she so loved and loathed. If ever a biopic of Kate is made and Cate isn’t cast in the role, I will personally stage a boycott. There is no way to describe this in words, you must see it. I thought Elizabeth was the role of her career, even though Cate has done some great work since. I now know that I was mistaken, and she’s just getting started.

There were a myriad of other fine actors and actresses in this movie. I will be buying this on DVD, but I suggest you don’t wait till then to see it. I’ve heard the movie dismissed by someone saying “I don’t care to see a movie about how a rich man learned to fly” and frankly, if you feel that way, you’re wrong. You can’t judge a book by it’s cover, nor a movie by it’s subject.

Which is why I’m going to go see Hotel Rwanda as soon as it shows up here.

Fear and Loathing in the Air Force

Now let’s be quite clear on why I’m upset about this concept. Actually, there are many reasons to be upset, not the least of which is that this ludicrous idea cost lots of taxpayers money in time and paper and ink and other stuff for it – and it’s part of the reason the military is so dysfunctional as to be laughable. If the Department of Homeland Security is only half as bad as the military, we’re still royally screwed.

But I digress. Towards the end of the article, there is this:

Steve Ralls, a spokesman for the Washington, D.C.-based Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), said, “It is a homophobic and delusional proposition for the Pentagon to assume a gay opponent is any less formidable than a straight one.”

Ralls also said that the SLDN, which is fighting the U.S. military’s ban on openly gay military personnel, would look into the matter and would consider asking Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to repudiate the proposal

I don’t know Steve Ralls, but his comments are part of the problem, not part of a solution. If you look, Edward Hammond of the Sunshine Project pointed out the real problem merely one paragraph earlier.

“Humiliating your enemy with gay sex sounds a lot like what happened at Abu Ghraib,” Hammond said, referring to the prisoner abuse scandal that was uncovered last year in Iraq.

You see, the military doesn’t like gays. They think gays are the reason that military discipline fails. Even worse, they are so afraid of gays the military honestly thinks that everyone else shares their fear. And we wonder why hate crimes happen?

Now, honestly, I’ll be the first to tell you that even tho I aced the ASVAB exam, I’m sure as hell not interested in being in the military. Not for the reasons you might assume, but because I don’t respond well to authority. Actually, authority and I are old enemies, and while I have a healthy respect for it, I tend to go my own way. In fact, I’m most likely to do something that authority not only doesn’t want, but doesn’t expect either. But that’s just me. I would also have made a kick-ass spy, but I’ll write more on that later, like when I decide to be a part of the CIA. Yeah.

So, this proposal shows off a weakness of our military, and in fact, if the ‘weapon’ could be developed, our military would be wiped out immediately as a bunch of newly minted homos went down on each other. And while some military men are hot, the idea of Rumsfeld going down on anyone makes. me. hurl!

But it is interesting that a fear of our military would be broadcasted so strongly. There is nothing out there that makes a human being do moronic things worse than fear. Fear is what kept Saddam in power for so long, so we know that if it can keep millions of people quiet and subjugated, I’m sure that we can all agree that fear is a powerful weapon.

The only piece that is missing is the “what are they fear?” part, and let’s be quite clear, by writing down this dreck the Mighty Military Forces of the United States have, amazingly, answered that question for the terrorists of the world.

Now all we can do is let gays in the military, it’s the only way to eliminate this fear – educate the men and women of the military to not mind if someone is a homo. In fact, we need full battalions of dykes and fags. The dyke battalion would be amazingly powerful, and the fag brigade would be colorful even in the usual BDU’s, and there is no reason to think that gays in the military would change things in the least harmful way. Just ask the Navy.

But we don’t ask, don’t tell. Don’t you feel safer that way?

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End of the Year Post

I don’t do resolutions, that’s not my gig. And while I intended to get this blog up and running and out there in the blogosphere, I haven’t had much chance to read, and I’ve been busy and work, and whine whine whine. Ugh, I sound like I’m about to tell you my dog ate my homework.

And I’m a cat person, so that would so not work.

Anyway, the deal is up, the only resolution that I have this year is to write in the blog. I will be helping a friend start up his site as well, even though I don’t agree with him politically. Other than that, may your worst day of the future be no worse than your best day in the past. Cheers!

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Presidential Intention

Now that President Bush has gained public acceptance at a level that he didn’t have before, we are faced with four more years of his, ahem, leadership. I can’t pretend to like or respect the man, and frankly, I find his inability to prove his thinking to be unnerving. I can honestly say I’m only slightly more angry than Dunstan but apparently not by much.

Bush does, however, have some pretty amazing opportunities to change the U.S. and the Supreme Court is where everyone is focused, as you can tell by the articles that have been springing forth. If you are going to read about the Supreme Court, read Dahlia Lithwick’s columns on Slate – read all of them. Her insight and skill are key to understanding both the strength and power on the bench, as well as the foolishness and stupidity.

There is a point, and while I’m not able to find it in Dahlia’s writing, I’m positive that it was her point, so I’m going to credit her now, and remember to take better notes in the future. The point is Bush doesn’t really have any idea that he’ll be able to remake the court. And thankfully, from what I’ve seen of all the justices on, there is only one constant amongst them – they are strong-willed and unlikely to give up power. In many ways, they are more extreme than Bush in their personal self-righteousness. So it’s very unlikely that those justices that are politically opposed to Bush – and these would be the four who voted, quite publicly, for Gore in the 2000 election/debacle – are going to willingly step down and let a man they don’t like pick their replacement. So those four seats are pretty safe, barring the random unforeseen issues of life.

Stop! In the name of the Bush!

Sing it with me! Actually, don’t. Given that Bush wants to take us back to the legal landscape of 1956, the songs of the 60’s aren’t really appropriate. Besides, the Supreme’s (also Lithwickism, in case you wondered) tend to sing off-key.

Do we have to worry about the justices aging? Not really. Yes, they are all older, but they aren’t centenaries yet, and frankly, from the way they dispatch piles of verbiage as they review cases, it’s unlikely that they are going to slow down, let alone stop. In fact, given the recent health issues that Chief Justice Rehnquist is facing and fighting, without stopping or halting the court calendar, it’s quite clear that this group, which has been together for a decade, is not likely to break up willingly. After all, having a comfortable work environment is something we all want, and you don’t have to like people to be able to work with them, perhaps most especially in law.

As for the other five, well, Bush can replace them all he wants, because they already agree with him. Again, this is a generalization, but given that the Democrats have no issue with making it amazingly painful for the appointment of people they don’t approve, the Supreme Court is most likely stable in it’s view, if not in it’s complement.

Regardless of Bush, the current justices will continue to review cases and rule based on their interpretation of the constitution.

Of course, Bush seems to realize that he can’t be guaranteed a chance to change the court, so he’s going after the constitution.

And that’s a fight I’ll fight.

On a personal note, I’d like to wish my father a happy birthday, although I’m almost positive that this article will cause him to have a conniption fit. Ah well, I love him anyway!

–KevinMichael Hamm

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