Archive for June, 2008

>The Gay Mafia

June 30, 2008

>Of course the fundies think we are all part of the Gay Mafia, and that we go around spreading gayness. In fact, one of the fundie commenters on here keeps accusing me of “forcing” the gay agenda down his or her throat (they are anonymous). Off the point, but how does me posting something on a “puny” and “pitiful little” blog force anyone to do anything? No one has seen me with a gun pointed at someone’s head (like Angelina Jolie in Wanted) making them do anything.

Anyway, we don’t make anyone gay. My son is not gay.

If he were gay, wouldn’t he have better fashion sense? Just kidding Daniel.

But what we can do is make pets gay. Here is my daughter’s dog. I bought the outfit.


Does that not make you think of The Village People “In The Navy“? As a mascot, maybe?

Anyway, this article was in the Advocate, and I was a bit surprised thinking they were giving away our secrets. But really they don’t. they don’t even give any real specifics of successes we have had, although they do imply credit for advances in several states.

“Smith and Guerriero won’t confirm where they directed Gill Action’s donor base in the 2006 cycle. But by way of example, three states that have shown night-and-day progress since Democrats took control of the legislature that year are Iowa, Oregon, and New Hampshire. Prior to 2006, New Hampshire and Iowa were debating bans on same-sex relationship recognition, and Oregon’s domestic-partnership bill had been blocked by Republicans in the statehouse. That all changed when Democrats regained control of both chambers in New Hampshire and Iowa and flipped the house in Oregon. Since then, Oregon has enacted its domestic-partnership bill along with an equal rights bill that had been stalled for 34 years; New Hampshire has passed a civil unions measure and signed it into law; and Iowa has enacted both an LGBT civil rights law and legislation to protect LGBT students from being bullied. “

This is done with grass roots advocacy, working from the bottom up. The only thing secret about Gill Action is where they are focusing their efforts. They wisely don’t want to give away which states they are targeting races in. They could actually be working in Alabama.

The article does point out that they are just using the same tactics that Karl Rove and Newt Gingrich have used in the past to make Republican gains. And since Rove had gay staffers, I guess it is only fitting that they should see the folly of their ways and use their talents to help the Democrats. Or should I say “the progressives.” Actually this is not a partisan group. The executive director, Patrick Guerriero, is a former Massachusetts state legislator and former head of Log Cabin Republicans, and in Massachusetts Gill Action worked to change the votes of Republican legislators to prevent the proposed amendment against same sex marriage from passing the required second vote to being placed on the ballot. They were successful.

Again, the article makes it seem that Gill Action is some big secret society, but we’ve heard about it for years, and they do have a web site, Gill Action. The only big secret is the donor list and the specific races and initiatives they point their donors toward.

Rush Limbaugh sees things a different way. He gets graphic in describing how the Democrats are giving in to the “whacko nuts” and “kooks” as he calls the blacks and the gays and anyone else with any sense.

He says “Democrats will bend over, grab the ankles and say ‘have your way with me’ for 10% and 2% of the population.”

Actually, Rush, could it not just be that Democrat leaders and candidates listen to the blacks and gays the rest of the “kooks” because they agree with what we say? But you really have a classy way of putting forth your misguided opinion.

The Gay Mafia

June 30, 2008

Of course the fundies think we are all part of the Gay Mafia, and that we go around spreading gayness. In fact, one of the fundie commenters on here keeps accusing me of “forcing” the gay agenda down his or her throat (they are anonymous). Off the point, but how does me posting something on a “puny” and “pitiful little” blog force anyone to do anything? No one has seen me with a gun pointed at someone’s head (like Angelina Jolie in Wanted) making them do anything.

Anyway, we don’t make anyone gay. My son is not gay.

If he were gay, wouldn’t he have better fashion sense? Just kidding Daniel.

But what we can do is make pets gay. Here is my daughter’s dog. I bought the outfit.


Does that not make you think of The Village People “In The Navy“? As a mascot, maybe?

Find more videos like this on www.truveo.com.

Anyway, this article was in the Advocate, and I was a bit surprised thinking they were giving away our secrets. But really they don’t. they don’t even give any real specifics of successes we have had, although they do imply credit for advances in several states.

“Smith and Guerriero won’t confirm where they directed Gill Action’s donor base in the 2006 cycle. But by way of example, three states that have shown night-and-day progress since Democrats took control of the legislature that year are Iowa, Oregon, and New Hampshire. Prior to 2006, New Hampshire and Iowa were debating bans on same-sex relationship recognition, and Oregon’s domestic-partnership bill had been blocked by Republicans in the statehouse. That all changed when Democrats regained control of both chambers in New Hampshire and Iowa and flipped the house in Oregon. Since then, Oregon has enacted its domestic-partnership bill along with an equal rights bill that had been stalled for 34 years; New Hampshire has passed a civil unions measure and signed it into law; and Iowa has enacted both an LGBT civil rights law and legislation to protect LGBT students from being bullied. “

This is done with grass roots advocacy, working from the bottom up. The only thing secret about Gill Action is where they are focusing their efforts. They wisely don’t want to give away which states they are targeting races in. They could actually be working in Alabama.

The article does point out that they are just using the same tactics that Karl Rove and Newt Gingrich have used in the past to make Republican gains. And since Rove had gay staffers, I guess it is only fitting that they should see the folly of their ways and use their talents to help the Democrats. Or should I say “the progressives.” Actually this is not a partisan group. The executive director, Patrick Guerriero, is a former Massachusetts state legislator and former head of Log Cabin Republicans, and in Massachusetts Gill Action worked to change the votes of Republican legislators to prevent the proposed amendment against same sex marriage from passing the required second vote to being placed on the ballot. They were successful.

Again, the article makes it seem that Gill Action is some big secret society, but we’ve heard about it for years, and they do have a web site, Gill Action. The only big secret is the donor list and the specific races and initiatives they point their donors toward.

Rush Limbaugh sees things a different way. He gets graphic in describing how the Democrats are giving in to the “whacko nuts” and “kooks” as he calls the blacks and the gays and anyone else with any sense.

He says “Democrats will bend over, grab the ankles and say ‘have your way with me’ for 10% and 2% of the population.”

Actually, Rush, could it not just be that Democrat leaders and candidates listen to the blacks and gays the rest of the “kooks” because they agree with what we say? But you really have a classy way of putting forth your misguided opinion.

>Tomatoes, Honeybees and Goldfish

June 30, 2008

>Kathy has written about bees and tomatoes recently, so I will as well. And goldfish.

We have Cherokee Purple, Celebrity and Beefmaster tomatoes. The first Cherokees and Celebrity tomatoes are ripe, and I think we will have BLT’s for dinner tonight. My tomatoes, like most of my yard, do not get a lot of sun all day, so production may be low.

When we were up on the farm near Hartselle in the spring we found a bee tree. When we went back at Memorial Day, I was able to get some pictures, although not the best. If you look closely, over to the lower left, with the branch as a background, you can spot a bee buzzing toward the hole in the tree.


Here is the bee:

Here is the bee’s destination, the opening in the tree.

I used to raise bees in Vestavia when I was in high school. I learned a lot about bees then, mostly from a book called “The ABC and XYZ of Bee Culture.” One of the neatest things was learning that if you go to a popular bee site like a patch of clover or a peach tree, early in the morning when the first bee arrives, you can watch the bee fill up with nectar and then she will leave the site, circle around and take off in the direction of her hive or bee tree. Measure the time until the bee returns (or another bee…from that direction) and, knowing the speed of bee flight, you can calculate the distance to the hive. I remember doing this, and finding a bee tree about 200 yards down the creek that ran behind our house.

This first bee goes back to the hive and communicates to the rest of the bees where the bounty is. Bees use what is called the “waggle dance” to communicate the direction, distance and quality of the location.

This fascinating video shows this process:

Honeybees, of course are in trouble. Read this article from The Guardian and then hope like the rest of us that we discover the cause of bee disappearance and that the bees recover.

Goldfish. We have goldfish in the basin of the fountain, and yesterday I noticed babies!!! This would not be a cause for excitement for those who have had goldfish in ponds for any length of time, probably, but since we are used to declining populations from whatever cause I was glad to see the little guys. I only noticed two, and they are about 3/4 inch long now. Lot’s of “nature” goes on in and around the fountain, so they may not make it to big fish size, but I will be watching.

Tomatoes, Honeybees and Goldfish

June 30, 2008

Kathy has written about bees and tomatoes recently, so I will as well. And goldfish.

We have Cherokee Purple, Celebrity and Beefmaster tomatoes. The first Cherokees and Celebrity tomatoes are ripe, and I think we will have BLT’s for dinner tonight. My tomatoes, like most of my yard, do not get a lot of sun all day, so production may be low.

When we were up on the farm near Hartselle in the spring we found a bee tree. When we went back at Memorial Day, I was able to get some pictures, although not the best. If you look closely, over to the lower left, with the branch as a background, you can spot a bee buzzing toward the hole in the tree.


Here is the bee:

Here is the bee’s destination, the opening in the tree.

I used to raise bees in Vestavia when I was in high school. I learned a lot about bees then, mostly from a book called “The ABC and XYZ of Bee Culture.” One of the neatest things was learning that if you go to a popular bee site like a patch of clover or a peach tree, early in the morning when the first bee arrives, you can watch the bee fill up with nectar and then she will leave the site, circle around and take off in the direction of her hive or bee tree. Measure the time until the bee returns (or another bee…from that direction) and, knowing the speed of bee flight, you can calculate the distance to the hive. I remember doing this, and finding a bee tree about 200 yards down the creek that ran behind our house.

This first bee goes back to the hive and communicates to the rest of the bees where the bounty is. Bees use what is called the “waggle dance” to communicate the direction, distance and quality of the location.

This fascinating video shows this process:

Honeybees, of course are in trouble. Read this article from The Guardian and then hope like the rest of us that we discover the cause of bee disappearance and that the bees recover.

Goldfish. We have goldfish in the basin of the fountain, and yesterday I noticed babies!!! This would not be a cause for excitement for those who have had goldfish in ponds for any length of time, probably, but since we are used to declining populations from whatever cause I was glad to see the little guys. I only noticed two, and they are about 3/4 inch long now. Lot’s of “nature” goes on in and around the fountain, so they may not make it to big fish size, but I will be watching.

>Empty Nest, and Thurso Surfing

June 29, 2008

>The nest is empty. No more Rock Band at all hours. Daniel went back to Tennessee, driving his Suzuki Reno. Getting ready for college.

This morning the Bessemer Barack Obama headquarters opened. The kids (both are voting age) and I got Obama shirts, and there will be other Obama items there, and voter registration going on. I neglected to find out what the hours will be, but when I do I will post them here.

Chris’s friends, whose civil ceremony pic I posted the other day live in Thurso, Scotland, and last night we did a little research (very little) and discovered Thurso is known, among other things, for surfing. Wow! In the North Sea.

As a comment on another youtube video said, “when you surf in Scotland there is only one thing for sure that will happen is that your WILLIE will nearly disappear…” Well, this video was shot in January 2007. The middle of winter. When you see spectators dressed in Arctic wear, you have to wonder about the guys in the water. Just goes to show, people can do anything anywhere, if they really want to. And there are lots of Thurso surfing videos on the net. Who knew? The music is Foo Fighters Down in the Park. (I am taking someone’s word for that).

Like a lot of Scotland and surrounds, Thurso has some historic buildings, like this one. This is St. Peter’s Kirk, this picture was on wikipedia. I could spend a week walking around places like this.


You know I do have some Scottish roots, so it would be right for me to explore. Someday.

Empty Nest, and Thurso Surfing

June 29, 2008

The nest is empty. No more Rock Band at all hours. Daniel went back to Tennessee, driving his Suzuki Reno. Getting ready for college.

This morning the Bessemer Barack Obama headquarters opened. The kids (both are voting age) and I got Obama shirts, and there will be other Obama items there, and voter registration going on. I neglected to find out what the hours will be, but when I do I will post them here.

Chris’s friends, whose civil ceremony pic I posted the other day live in Thurso, Scotland, and last night we did a little research (very little) and discovered Thurso is known, among other things, for surfing. Wow! In the North Sea.

As a comment on another youtube video said, “when you surf in Scotland there is only one thing for sure that will happen is that your WILLIE will nearly disappear…” Well, this video was shot in January 2007. The middle of winter. When you see spectators dressed in Arctic wear, you have to wonder about the guys in the water. Just goes to show, people can do anything anywhere, if they really want to. And there are lots of Thurso surfing videos on the net. Who knew? The music is Foo Fighters Down in the Park. (I am taking someone’s word for that).

Like a lot of Scotland and surrounds, Thurso has some historic buildings, like this one. This is St. Peter’s Kirk, this picture was on wikipedia. I could spend a week walking around places like this.


You know I do have some Scottish roots, so it would be right for me to explore. Someday.

>Great Day for Dems and Gays

June 27, 2008

>While the Bush economy is falling through the cracks (Stocks tumble) it is a banner day for democrats and gay rights.

Start with the democrats. Obama and Clinton appeared together in Unity, New Hampshire today. From CNN,

“We may have started on separate paths … today our hearts are set on the same destination for America … to elect Barack Obama as the next president of the United States,” Clinton said.
“We are one party, we are one America.”


She said the the way to get her issues addressed was to elect barack Obama as the next president. So come on, the rest of you Hillary supporters, join! There are events all over the country tomorrow, including in Bessemer. From the Barack web site:

UNITE FOR CHANGE
Please join Alabama Barack Team Bessemer for our UNITE FOR CHANGE RALLY.
We will kicking off the opening of our local official Barack For President Headquarters in the city of Bessemer. We will be doing a voter registration drive and planning for future activities. We will be selling Barack t-shirts, buttons and other paraphernalia.

Saturday, June 28 at 9:00 AM

Location:
Alabama Barack Team Bessemer Headquarters (Bessemer, AL)
Unity flowers and gifts
2301 9th Avenue North Bessemer, AL 35020

Other local events can be found at Barack Obama .

As for GLBT equality,yesterday for the first time in the history of our country a hearing was held on transgender issues Advocate article
“For far too long, transgender people have lived with the fear of losing their job simply because of who they are,” said Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund. “Today’s hearing marks a critical step in addressing this travesty once and for all.”

Let’s hope this leads to an inclusive ENDA (Employment Non Discrimination Act) .

And also, today Michelle Obama spoke before the Democratic National Committee’s Gay and Lesbian Leadership Council.

From the article: ”We are all only here because of those who marched and bled and died, from Selma to Stonewall, in the pursuit of a more perfect union,” she said at the event, held days before the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots between gays and New York police, and the city’s annual gay pride parade.

Chris sent me this picture of her two good friends at their civil ceremony in Thurso. Wonderful people she says, I hope we get to meet them when we travel to Scotland. No, Chris, we don’t have travel plans yet, just wishes.

Congratulations, guys!!!

Great Day for Dems and Gays

June 27, 2008

While the Bush economy is falling through the cracks (Stocks tumble) it is a banner day for democrats and gay rights.

Start with the democrats. Obama and Clinton appeared together in Unity, New Hampshire today. From CNN,

“We may have started on separate paths … today our hearts are set on the same destination for America … to elect Barack Obama as the next president of the United States,” Clinton said.
“We are one party, we are one America.”


She said the the way to get her issues addressed was to elect barack Obama as the next president. So come on, the rest of you Hillary supporters, join! There are events all over the country tomorrow, including in Bessemer. From the Barack web site:

UNITE FOR CHANGE
Please join Alabama Barack Team Bessemer for our UNITE FOR CHANGE RALLY.
We will kicking off the opening of our local official Barack For President Headquarters in the city of Bessemer. We will be doing a voter registration drive and planning for future activities. We will be selling Barack t-shirts, buttons and other paraphernalia.

Saturday, June 28 at 9:00 AM

Location:
Alabama Barack Team Bessemer Headquarters (Bessemer, AL)
Unity flowers and gifts
2301 9th Avenue North Bessemer, AL 35020

Other local events can be found at Barack Obama .

As for GLBT equality,yesterday for the first time in the history of our country a hearing was held on transgender issues Advocate article
“For far too long, transgender people have lived with the fear of losing their job simply because of who they are,” said Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund. “Today’s hearing marks a critical step in addressing this travesty once and for all.”

Let’s hope this leads to an inclusive ENDA (Employment Non Discrimination Act) .

And also, today Michelle Obama spoke before the Democratic National Committee’s Gay and Lesbian Leadership Council.

From the article: ”We are all only here because of those who marched and bled and died, from Selma to Stonewall, in the pursuit of a more perfect union,” she said at the event, held days before the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots between gays and New York police, and the city’s annual gay pride parade.

Chris sent me this picture of her two good friends at their civil ceremony in Thurso. Wonderful people she says, I hope we get to meet them when we travel to Scotland. No, Chris, we don’t have travel plans yet, just wishes.

Congratulations, guys!!!

>Western Star Apology and Water!!!

June 26, 2008

>In The Western Star this week another apology ran. This one is more suitable:

Apology

The Western star did not follow company policy on running letters to the editor when a letter ran in the June 4, 2008 edition signed by the Bessemer Neighborhood Association. Association secretary, Joe Openshaw, informed The Western star the letter was not written by the BNA. The newspaper apologizes to the Bessemer Neighborhood Association and to those mentioned in the letter for any inconvenience or problems that its publication may have caused.

Thanks Dale, for setting the record straight. The association accepts the apology.

But the individual wonders about the sincerity. I say that because this apology was read to me and OK’ed by me by Mitch Tribble on June 19 over the phone, and he seemed sincere and concerned that the letter was even published.

Quite different from the email I received from Dale the other day. However, being a peacemaker…I will let it slide, and just be thankful the readers of The Western Star know the truth now.

I might as well admit I also read with interest Representative Priscilla Dunn’s column titled The First Steps Toward a Statewide Water Plan. Rep. Dunn (who by the way is always complimentary to me regarding my columns) is absolutely right on the importance of developing a statewide water management team. I have written about water both in The Western Tribune and on this blog enough that everyone should know my concerns.

One such concern is bottled water. To make the bottles used for America’s and our water, over 17 million barrels of crude oil are used annually. this is enough to power a million vehicles for a year (Update). That doesn’t account for the diesel or gas used to transport the bottles to the retail outlets, or across the sea for those waters that come from Fiji or Europe.

While our household has not cut down 100%, we have greatly reduced our bottled water use by getting a refillable big bottle and cooler for our drinking water. We get refills at Lowes. We still buy an occasional case of Dasani for use in special situations.

Most tap water is fine, and a lot of people I hear are returning to tap water, either with or without a filter. Many refrigerators have a filter and the water that is dispensed is fine.
Enjoy this Water Sculpture.

Plus think of the money you will save by not buying water that is costing as much or more per gallon than gasoline. Conservation. Fiscal. Good.

Western Star Apology and Water!!!

June 26, 2008

In The Western Star this week another apology ran. This one is more suitable:

Apology

The Western star did not follow company policy on running letters to the editor when a letter ran in the June 4, 2008 edition signed by the Bessemer Neighborhood Association. Association secretary, Joe Openshaw, informed The Western star the letter was not written by the BNA. The newspaper apologizes to the Bessemer Neighborhood Association and to those mentioned in the letter for any inconvenience or problems that its publication may have caused.

Thanks Dale, for setting the record straight. The association accepts the apology.

But the individual wonders about the sincerity. I say that because this apology was read to me and OK’ed by me by Mitch Tribble on June 19 over the phone, and he seemed sincere and concerned that the letter was even published.

Quite different from the email I received from Dale the other day. However, being a peacemaker…I will let it slide, and just be thankful the readers of The Western Star know the truth now.

I might as well admit I also read with interest Representative Priscilla Dunn’s column titled The First Steps Toward a Statewide Water Plan. Rep. Dunn (who by the way is always complimentary to me regarding my columns) is absolutely right on the importance of developing a statewide water management team. I have written about water both in The Western Tribune and on this blog enough that everyone should know my concerns.

One such concern is bottled water. To make the bottles used for America’s and our water, over 17 million barrels of crude oil are used annually. this is enough to power a million vehicles for a year (Update). That doesn’t account for the diesel or gas used to transport the bottles to the retail outlets, or across the sea for those waters that come from Fiji or Europe.

While our household has not cut down 100%, we have greatly reduced our bottled water use by getting a refillable big bottle and cooler for our drinking water. We get refills at Lowes. We still buy an occasional case of Dasani for use in special situations.

Most tap water is fine, and a lot of people I hear are returning to tap water, either with or without a filter. Many refrigerators have a filter and the water that is dispensed is fine.
Enjoy this Water Sculpture.

Plus think of the money you will save by not buying water that is costing as much or more per gallon than gasoline. Conservation. Fiscal. Good.