Progressive. Queer. Feminist. Opinionated.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Vatican and Pope Palpatine

Pat's House Blend has some information up about the Vatican's newest movement towards banning gays. For extra fun, look at the picture of the pope she has posted. Yikes. I'm not trying to be shallow by evaluating his apperance but ... is the pope supposed to look evil? Because John Paul may have made some pretty bad mistakes, but at least he looked like a nice, old man.

Anyway, so the Vatican has said ...

homosexuals should be barred from entering the priesthood along with men with "deep-seated" homosexual tendencies and those who support gay culture. [link]


Deep-seated homosexual tendencies...? (I'll ignore a sexual pun that would be fun to make here). So what makes something deep-seated?

This is so stupid.

Whee, torture. Right?

So you know how John McCain is leading the charge against torture?

Well, NewsMax (eewww!) is trying to show that because McCain broke under torture, he shouldn't really talk; torture worked on him, they say.

Balloon Juice writes more here.

Bah.. wha? What sort of insane troll logic IS this?

Can you even make a claim like this? How do these people SLEEP at night?!

Monday, November 28, 2005

So. What about Coulter?

Media Matters asks the burning question: Why does CNN continue to host Ann Coulter?

Ion and I were just talking about this, so I find the post to be a very timely piece. It begins...

One day after Ann Coulter wrote a column examining Rep. John P. Murtha's (D-PA) proposal to end military engagement in Iraq, she appeared on the November 25 edition of CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight to comment on it. In her November 24 syndicated column, she claimed, "There is no plausible explanation for the Democrats' behavior other than that they long to see U.S. troops shot, humiliated, and driven from the field of battle." She also falsely claimed that Saddam Hussein sought "enriched uranium from Niger."


After listing a number of Coulter's more, uh, I don't know, insane rantings, Media Matters ask why CNN continues to host her. Good question.

A very good question.

Where ARE they now? - RENT

Through Page One Q, I found a link to (perhaps) one of the best named blogs on this whole Internet: FaggotyAssFaggot.com. (Motto: "His loafers are tight, his tongue is acid").

The writer of this blog recently wrote a "Where are they now?" entry about Rent (to celebrate the movie). As a fan of RENT and clever writers, I thought I should link to it.

A highlight:

After shacking up with Joanne on-and-off for fourteen more months, Maureen breaks it off, saying Joanne is a tight ass. She proclaims lesbianism was last year’s fad. Two weeks later Maureen hooks up with a Wall Street investment banker whose generous wooing causes her to realize principles don’t stack up next to Prada. She now lives in Connecticut, has three kids, performs in the occasional community theater show, drives an SUV and regularly shops at Talbots. [link]


Check it out.

Jesus's response to the Vatican's anti-gay movements

Good As You has a pretty funny response to the Vatican's recent "AHHH! GAYS! RUN!" experiment.

Read it here, and be filled with joy.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Feminism: Occasionally a dirty word, but not in this instance

Various of my esteemed co-authors here at the Dyke Squad have put forth their views on the topic of feminism, and I thought, my God, what kind of fool was I for not rashly throwing my own slap-dash opinion into the mix?

In a different forum, on a different topic, there was a discussion of gender roles; by this I mean (or rather, I delved into) the controversial gender-differentiation of science for boys and English for girls-- And I girded my loins and said the following:

Why would it be bad for each gender to have particular things that it can do better over the other? The big argument I tend to hear (and bear in mind that I have not read extensively on this subject; much of this is just random thought and magpie-like evidence) always seems to be on the female-to-male side of things -- as in, "Why can't girls be just as good at science and math?" I'm not hearing the opposite ("Why can't boys be good at English?") nearly as frequently. It seems to me that the big problem is that part of this argument requires the inherent belief that math and science is some sort of higher form of thinking than any of the humanities -- and therefore, because men are seen as more capable of this sort of thinking, that somehow women are being kept away from the Big and Beautiful Brain Thoughts.

Except why is it that the humanities are considered craptastic? Perhaps that is the fault of the dominant patriarchy. It may even be the fault of what our techno-conscious society is requiring of its new workers. But I think there is a very big problem with women themselves, feminist and non-, hating their own abilities.

Say women are naturally (if only slightly) better at keeping house, taking care of children, and understanding Beowulf -- why is that bad? Who is declaring it so? If men say it is silly -- why are we putting up with what they say is right and proper? By putting all our force and thought into proving ourselves only in the male paradigm, we are denying our own selves and self-worth, and often at the cost to our lives and the following generations. Girls now learn that it's not enough -- or important -- if they are good at English; many women believe that they must have full-time careers regardless of whether they have children or not (or whether, based strictly financially, they have to work or not), thus in many cases leaving their children in the care of people, often women, who the "working" women deem as chained slaves to the patriarchy and (at the same time) somehow lower-class in thought or beliefs because these women might rather take care of children than pursue the "better," more "pro-woman" lifestyles.

If I truly believed that feminism meant that I had to think that the male talents were the better ones, and that I could not appreciate or even (heaven forfend) participate in the female talents, I would be very sore pressed to think of feminism as anything other than another tool of oppression -- or, in this case, repression.

For me, the true thrust of feminism is to give honor, appreciation, and respect to anything a woman might wish to do. Should she have the ability to -- and the desire -- she should enter the sciences and do well and bravely in it. Should she have the ability to understand the nuances of literature -- and the desire -- she should do the same as the science woman. If a woman wishes to learn for no other reason than for the sake of learning -- even if she plans to do "nothing more" in life than raise children! -- she should be free to do so and without censure, for there can be nothing wrong -- nor should there be -- in a woman wishing to increase her knowledge. And finally, should a woman go through life doing only what women are "supposed" to do, and this is what she wants -- moreover, if she is happy with it, and does it well -- then she deserves victory in that as much as any other woman in this world.

Regardless of a woman's life or choices, she should find respect in everything she does. I am completely uninterested in a form of thinking that requires anything less.

Shortly after this, I apologized to all and sundry for recently rereading Dorothy Sayers' Gaudy Night, which has an unhealthy affect on my syntax.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Coulter, bastion of sense

So ...

We all know Ann Coulter's really lost it, right? (Presuming that she had "it" in the beginning).

This is from her most recent column, "New idea for Abortion Party: Aid the enemy." Oh, yeah, she went there.

It is simply a fact that Democrats like Murtha are encouraging the Iraqi insurgents when they say the war is going badly and it’s time to bring the troops home…[T]hey long to see U.S. troops shot, humiliated, and driven from the field of battle. They fill the airwaves with treason…These people are not only traitors, they are gutless traitors.


Read about it here or here.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Remember, kids. Abstinence is the only way to go.

Ion found this site for me and said I should post it because it's up my alley.

It's called Abstinence Only. She found the link on Freeway Blogger's blog roll, and they summarize the site as such:

This is what happens when you spend $400 million on abstinence only education and forget to secure the domain name.


Abstinence Only says this on their intro page:

"You and your faith partner have chosen a path of mutual love and adoration through physical respect. Resisting the temptations of sexual intercourse may not always be easy, but with the help of AbstinenceOnly.com, we guarantee you'll have a lot of fun!"


Come on. You KNOW this is going to be fun.

This is probably my favorite part, especially the "right" and "wrong" pictures. (Uh, if you're easily offended, you might want to stay away).

Visit the site!

Straight talk indeed

Have you gals and guys heard about Straight Talk, the radio show hosted by an "ex-gay" and his wife? (It was in the news maybe a month ago).

Anyway, Ex-Gay Watch has some quotes up from that radio show. I do believe this one is my favorite (and I'm the one who did the bolding):

Stephen: I believe homosexual men need rock solid Bible believing Christian men to show them what real Christian male non sexual love is all about and Godly male Christian affirmation and encouragement through God’s word. Lesbians in turn need a Christian female to show them what real nonsexual Christian love is all about as well. However I always encourage these friendships with homosexuals if possible be with a husband and wife for precautionary measures. Many homosexuals can perceive this love, attention and affection that they’re receiving as sexual and sometimes will become emotionally codependent with their Christian friends. The opposite sex partner of the Christian married couple provides that safe important boundary. If the Christian is not married it might be best to bring another man along when befriending a homosexual male or another woman when befriending a lesbian individual. [link]


Say what?

I ... I'd be offended if this weren't so ridiculous.

Anyway, visit Ex-Gay Watch for the audio of this and two other bits of silliness.

Stephen: Homosexuality can stem from a death in the family, divorce, physical attributes such as being too tall, too short, heavy, etc... anything that makes you different from the rest of your same-sex peers. [link]


Some "straight" people come up with the strangest things. Where do they get this crap?

O'Reilly's fighting for Christmas ... for YOU

I imagine sometimes that it must be refreshing to be Bill O'Reilly. When you don't have to worry about logic or thoughtful statements, you have much more time to pursue any agenda whole-heartedly, without the teensiest bit of thought or contemplation. It must be an easy life.

Here's a clip of O'Reilly acting as though the world is going to end because some stores don't say "Merry Christmas." Here's my favorite part of the clip:

O'REILLY: See, I think it's all part of the secular progressive agenda --

GIBSON: Absolutely.

O'REILLY: -- to get Christianity and spirituality and Judaism out of the public square. Because if you look at what happened in Western Europe and Canada, if you can get religion out, then you can pass secular progressive programs like legalization of narcotics, euthanasia, abortion at will, gay marriage, because the objection to those things is religious- based, usually.


Yes, he just compared euthanasia, narcatics and abortion to gay marriage. Because nothing says pot and aborted fetuses like a committed, happy gay couple.

What a load of bullshit.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Vatican's setting down some RULEZ

The Vatican says that sexually active gays are unwelcome:

The Vatican says homosexuals who are sexually active or support "gay culture" are unwelcome in the priesthood unless they have gotten over their homosexual tendencies for at least three years, according to a church document posted on the Internet by an Italian Catholic news agency.


So who came up with the three year rule? Why not two years? Two and a half? Does this mean that if I continue to see my Girlfriend but if we don't engage in lesbian sex for three years, I am technically not an active lesbian? Oh! What if a guy is single (for three years, of course!) and hates Cher and home decorating, but still likes parties - which gay AND straight men can like? Is he engaging in gay culture? Does 'Queer Eye for the Straight Guy' count as gay culture? I can't tell. There are gays AND breeders in that.

Okay, I'm done now. My sarcasm runneth over.

This is so dumb.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Give the ACLU some love

ACLU sues over White House banning Dems from Bush's townhall meetings

President Bush came to Denver March 21 to speak about Social Security...Alex Young, 26, Leslie Weise, 39, and Karen Bauer, 38, say they were ejected from the event even though they had done nothing disruptive. Young and Weise are suing.

All three had tickets to the public event, which was sponsored by the White House and paid for by taxpayers.

The man who forced them to leave was wearing a radio earpiece and a lapel pin that functioned as a security badge…


I love the ACLU.

Oh! How slanderous of me to say that! I don't want Bill O'Reilly angry at me.

God and the Hurricane are Best Friends Forever!

Good As You has information about another politician (from Ireland this time!) who says Katrina shows that God was angry at homosexuals. Oh, noes!

I highly recommend following the link. Good As You is always good for a laugh.

Anyway, looking at how many disasters there are every year in so many different places, I think that if God is angry at anyone, he's angry at heterosexuals. I mean, really. We just get blamed for one hurricane?! Get real! We had countless other hurricanes that hit "straighter" areas.

Oh, you insidious breeders, always trying to blame us poor queers. Look at the news! God hates breeders!

...I should start a website. I could be the new Fred Phelps. Just not, uh, crazy.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Apparently now we're patriotic again

BlondeSense pointed out this recent line from President Bush:

"I heard somebody say, `Well, maybe so-and-so is not patriotic because they disagree with my position.' I totally reject that thought," Bush said.

"This is not an issue of who's patriotic and who's not patriotic," he said. "It's an issue of an honest, open debate about the way forward in Iraq." [link]


Say what now? Okay, we know you don't believe that! At least try to be creative in your lies.

Gayle Rubin's "Thinking Sex"

I've got a reason you should be glad to read this blog: you're reading the writings of at least one person who is studying, for the first time, some of the major queer and gender theorists of the twentieth century. And so there shall be quotes as I have my mind blown by these amazing thinkers.

These quotations are from Gayle Rubin's essay "Thinking Sex." It was written in 1984, but damn if a lot of these statements don't ring true right now.

Contemporary conflicts over sexual values and erotic conduct have much in common with the religious disputes of earlier centuries. They acquire immense symbolic weight. Disputes over sexual behavior often become the vehicles for displacing social anxieties, and discharging their attendant emotional intensity (3).


Sex is always political. But there are also historical periods in which sexuality is more sharply contested and more overtly politicized. In such periods, the domain of erotic life is, in effect, renegotiated (4).


For over a century, no tactic for stirring up erotic hysteria has been as reliable as the appeal to protect children (7).


Western cultures generally consider sex to be a dangerous, destructive, negative force (13).


Modern Western societies appraise sex acts according to a hierarchical system of sexual value. Marital, reproductive heterosexuals are alone at the top of the erotic pyramid. Clamoring below are unmarried monogamous heterosexuals in couples, followed by most other heterosexuals. Solitary sex floats ambiguously. The powerful nineteenth-century stigma on masturbation lingers in less potent, modified forms, such as the idea that masturbation is an inferior substitute for partnered encounters. Stable, long-term lesbian and gay male couples are verging on respectability, but bar dykes and promiscuous gay men are hovering just above the groups at the very bottom of the pyramid. The most despised sexual castes currently include transsexuals, transvestites, fetishists, sadomasochists, sex workers such as prostitutes and porn models, and the lowliest of all, those whose eroticisms transgresses generational boundaries.

Individuals whose behavior stands high in this hierarchy are rewarded with certified mental health, respectability, legality, social and physical mobility, institutional support, and marital benefits. As sexual behaviors or occupations fall lower on the scale, the individuals who practice them are subjected to a presumption of mental illness, disrespectability, criminality, restricted social and physical mobility, loss of institutional support, and economic sanctions (14-15).


I'd post more, but I'm only to page fifteen in my reading! Nonetheless, I already highly recommend this piece. It's a stunning bit of theory.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda

I will be the first to admit that I did doubt Al Gore after he bungled his 2000 campaign. I do understand hiding for a month and growing a beard though. (A man can't reflect on his mistakes/throw himself into the morass of his own self-pity if he has to shave every day.) But, looking back, I wish that we all would have fought harder for him. We might still be at war, but at least I could trust the administration not to continue to reach new heights of flagrant asshattery.

Trudy Loh of the Huffington Post (Bless you, Arianna) wrote an article with part of Al Gore's speech (the one in 2002, right befor the vote on the Iraq War (read: Biggest Fuckall Mess of This Generation, or BFMTG).

So he might have some sort of Occult means of seeing the future or he isn't an absolute dumbfuck.

I am deeply concerned that the course of action that we are presently embarking upon with respect to Iraq has the potential to seriously damage our ability to win the war against terrorism and to weaken our ability to lead the world in this new century. Read on.


Sorry we were too dumb for you, Al.

Info on San Francisco's disallowance of recruiters

Info on why San Fran is disallowing military recruiters in public schools:

Whereas, over 1500 American soldiers have died and tens of thousands have been injured physically and psychologically in Iraq; and,

Whereas, a study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Columbia University School of Nursing and Al-Mustansiriya University in Baghdad estimates that 100,000 Iraqis have died as a result of the U.S. invasion and occupation; and,

Whereas, the U.S. government is forcing soldiers to serve in Iraq for longer than their contracts require with such devices as “stop-loss” orders; and,

Whereas, the “No Child Left Behind Act” forces all high schools that receive federal money to give personal records of all children to the military for the purposes of recruiting; and,

Whereas, the federal Solomon Amendment specifically orders colleges and universities that receive federal money to violate their own legal policies of non-discrimination against gays and lesbians by allowing recruiters for the military, which bars gays and lesbians from serving openly, on campus; and,

Whereas, a de facto “economic draft” forces tens of thousands of low and middleincome students to join the military in order to get money to go to college or get job or technical training; and,

Whereas, the Pentagon budget, over $400 billion per year, plus $300 billion more over the last three years for the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, is draining desperately needed resources for schools, health care and jobs; and,

Whereas, the people of San Francisco voted by 63% to pass Proposition N in November of 2004 calling on the Federal government to “bring the troops safely home now;” and,

Whereas, the Federal government shows no sign of ending the occupation of Iraq or bringing the troops safely home and, in fact, is threatening military action against other nations; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, that the people of San Francisco oppose U.S. military recruiters using public school, college and university facilities to recruit young people into the armed forces. Furthermore, San Francisco should oppose the military’s “economic draft” by investigating means by which to fund and grant scholarships for college and job training to low-income students so they are not economically compelled to join the military. [I found this on NewsHounds, but they got if from sfgov.org]

Thursday, November 17, 2005

You know it's bad when...

Apparrently Mexicans have no trouble teaching evolution. Now, I'm not down on Mexico. I'm just pointing out that this entire set societal conceptions about Mexico and the quality of its education is a little...well...with the throwing of stones and the amorphous silicon dioxide houses.


In yet another sign that Mexico's educators and students embrace Darwinism, my associates and I are often invited to speak in public and private schools, including those run by Catholic nuns and priests, to talk about the origin and evolution of life. The list of venues includes a conference at the oldest Mexican Catholic seminary. Many of the students and professors at the seminary may have seen evolution as the unfolding of a divine plan, but they also saw no doctrinal conflict between their own personal faith and Darwin's scientific ideas. They even found hilarious the idea of teaching creationism based on biblical literalism. Read on.


What the hell is wrong with us?

Er, oops?

So can you tell it's the time I begin working on my final papers? I'm sorry - I've been remiss in posting this week. I'll try to keep up better, but graduating does need to come first.

So. News. Planet Out named Gavin Newsom "Person of the Year." Can I admit I have a boycrush on that guy? He's awesome. I'd post links, but that site has some good information up, so go look at that. Good ol'Gavin.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Ledger wins in my book

In a Hollywood =/= Liberal rant over at AMERICAblog, there's a good quote from Heath Ledger.

"I never thought twice about it," Ledger insists. "For one thing, I never felt like I had anything at stake, and I think if you make decisions based on society's opinions, you're going to make boring choices. What terrified me was self-doubt. I knew that if I was going to do justice to this character, to this story and to this form of love, I was really going to have to mature as an actor, and as a person." [link]


That's an astoundingly mature quote. I applaud Ledger. And while I'm doing that, you guys go read the AMERICAblog rant.

Why don't you go focus on something else for a bit?

Focus on Family has decided to focus on New York, and Good As You has a wonderful update about this.

Relatedly, we hear that the FOFers will also spend their time in NY trying to de-gay the cast of Mamma Mia, renaming Chelsea "you're going to Hellsea," and convincing folks that this New Years, instead of a ball dropping, the sky will actually fall. Though personally, we think they missed the boat by not creating a "sanctity of marriage" float to join the Turkey Day parade, as that campaign is already full of hot air, delights those who look towards the sky for answers, and requires hundreds of minnions to man the concept in order to keep the illusion moving forward.


Go read! It's quite funny.

Take back the words

Well, what do you know? An attempt to reclaim language.

Don't Allow Religious Right To Control Moral High Ground Gays Told:

The weekend conference in Oakland was organized by the Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Executive director Matt Foreman told delegates it is time to seize the moral high ground.

"Let's start by claiming our moral values - liberty and personal freedom for all," Foreman said.

He implored delegates to concentrate on two key issues this year: reach out to people of faith and demand that Democrats no longer dance around the issue of gay marriage.

"The Democrats' response to gay issues over the last few years has been incoherent and spineless, and that has only worked to their disadvantage," Foreman told Reuters. "There is a sense among large gay donors to the Democratic party that they need to have the party take a stand for us."


Can I say about damn time? Well done!

I hate how morals = anti-gay. How did we allow language to slip away from us so much? I think this bit of news is a breath of fresh air.

What a loon

More on that O'Reilly/San Fran incident:

Fox's O'Reilly Supports Al-Qaida Attack On SF For Opposing Gay Military Ban

It's obvious now, but I somehow managed to completely overlook the city's reason for discouraging recruiters.

Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly is under fire for suggesting that al-Qaida should "blow up" Coit Tower, one of the San Francisco's most famous landmarks, because voters backed a resolution discouraging military recruiters on public high school and college campuses.

The proposition passed by a healthy majority last Tuesday. It does not ban recruiters, but it does urge schools to reject them.

The proposition is not binding but its let the Pentagon know how the city feels about 'don't ask, don't tell' the military's ban on gays serving openly.


and

In September, Supervisors voted 8 - 3 to reject a plan to berth the USS Iowa on the city's historic waterfront and turn it into a museum and tourist attraction. The Supervisors cited the military's ban on gays serving in the armed forces for their rejection of the proposal.


I hope someone calls O'Reilly on this one. He's gone far enough.

I mean, let's consider: we live in a country where we have to pay taxes and can be asked to die for the country, and yet we (1) can't marry and (2) have to hide who we are in the army. That's ridiculous. That's awful.

And O'Reilly's only making this injustice worse with his stupid, thoughtless and uneducated rants.

And the worse part? O'Reilly thinks this isn't his fault. He thinks he's being slimed. Learn to accept accountability, you jack ass.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

The Miss Tiffany Universe pageant

A friend linked me to this: Transvestites Glitter at Thailand Pageant:

At the Miss Tiffany Universe pageant which boasts dozens of gorgeous, lithe, smooth-skinned contestants one thing is undeniable: Thailand turns out some of the most beautiful transvestites and transsexuals in the world.


These ladies are stunning. Now, just so you know, the article itself will probably have you rolling your eyes. The author's obsessed with "what lies beneath" - you know how the American people are. Rather than letting the beauty be, we can't help but obsess about the bodies and sex.

For example, read this statement:

Thailand, a predominantly Buddhist country, is widely tolerant of homosexuals, transvestites and transsexuals one reason, perhaps, that men who opt for the transformation here are so stunning and convincing.


I'm interested in her definition of convincing. So this author supports operation as long as the women really look like women? Hmm... That's an interesting way to put it.

However, the ladies are amazing, and it's a neat little article. You can worry that these people are being commodified and taken advantage of, but if you read the article, it really seems like these women are powerful for what they do. They are in positions of power and they flaunt this power. I'm really interested in this.

Transgenderism is common and widely accepted in mostly Buddhist Thailand, particularly in Bangkok and towns like Pattaya.


I honestly didn't know Thailand was so accepting.

Tell me what you think. (Here's the pageant's website, by the way).

Sex and Cheerleaders

So here are the bare facts of the case:

Two cheerleaders for the Carolina Panthers (an NFL team, for those among us who aren't sports fiends), Renee Thomas, 20, and Angela Keathley, 26, were in Florida. The two cheerleaders visited a bar, and, according to reports:

Witnesses say Angela Keathley and Renee Thomas were engaged in some type of sexual activity inside a bathroom stall at Banana Joe's around 2:20 am Sunday. Another woman waiting to use the bathroom got into an argument with the pair.

Police say Thomas punched the woman in the face. When Thomas was arrested, she gave police the name of another Panthers cheerleader.

Thomas could face additional charges for lying to police, once they confirm her identity.

Keathley was charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing or opposing an officer, while Thomas was charged with one count of battery.

The two women were taken to Hillsborough County jail, where they both bonded out later Sunday morning.

Seems simple enough. Two cheerleaders have lesbian sex in a bar's bathroom (and in order to get to that bathroom, Thomas had to have provided a fake ID of some kind), get into a brawl afterwards, and are subsequently arrested. Then they get fired.

Say what?

The NFL's Carolina Panthers have dismissed cheerleaders Renee Thomas and Angela Keathley from the NFL teams' cheer squad for their role in a lesbian bar room sex act and arrest after. [...]

The Charlotte Observer is reporting that Renee Thomas, a UNC Charlotte student, and Angela Keathley, a registered nurse, violated a rule that bans conduct that's embarrassing to the team or organization, Panthers spokesman Charlie Dayton said.

Kristen Owen, a third cheerleader, has been suspended for an undetermined time for violating the same code of conduct, Dayton said.

Owen was not in Tampa during the brawl and has not been charged, but Thomas had Owen's driver's license and presented it to Florida police.

So now we have the case of the mistaken identity cleared up, good, excellent, but hey, could someone make clear again just why these women got kicked off the team?

[They] violated a rule that bans conduct that's embarrassing to the team or organization, Panthers spokesman Charlie Dayton said.

Embarrassing, huh? Which part? The underage ID exchange? The fist fight? Or was it the lesbian sex between two of our nation's Rampant Heterosexual Symbols? Unfortunately, we'll never get to find out (or see the ACLU jump on the NFL for discriminatory practices) because Panthers Cheerleaders Deny Lesbian Sex, Loud Moans Only Crying:

Published reports have quoted one witness as saying it was obvious to her that the gal pals were having sex.

But now Channel 8 from Tampa reports that the brunette TopCat (Angela Keathley) "was crying over an ex-boyfriend - not having sex with her teammate (blonde Renee Thomas) - when a fracas erupted over the women sharing a stall."

Angela Keathley, 26, of Charlotte, N.C., released the statement through Tampa attorney "She just wanted to make clear there was no sex," he said.

Earlier in the week, blonde bombshell Renee Thomas denied any lesbian sex between the two cheerleaders through her attorney as well.

Leaving aside the whole "blonde bombshell" comment, maybe they weren't having sex. Fine. Good for them and their heteronormative bonding activities. But... then how come Keathley, the one who didn't punch out anyone or enter a bar with a fake ID or give a false name to the police -- how come she got kicked off the team and was "suspended from her full-time job as a nurse over the alleged incident"? That's a whole lot of punishment for a tiny bit of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest (which is all she got charged with).

Hm.

Media-wise, lesbian-wise, AfterEllen.com points out:

So what's the problem? The story is entertaining. It's news. I'll admit, I got a good laugh out of reading about it. So why shouldn't the news outlets have a field day with it?

The problem is, the mainstream media doesn't cover stories about heterosexual couples getting busted for having sex in a bar bathroom, even though I'd be willing to bet that happens far more often than women secretly (or not so secretly, in this case) hooking up with each other in public bathrooms.

And even if they did cover it, it wouldn't make the national news. As one Florida AfterEllen.com reader wrote in to say, "I noticed this story first on my local NBC news, and then making headlines on Yahoo....I don't see any headlines covering all the sordid heterosexual activities in bar bathrooms performed by athletes (or their enthusiastic, scantily-clad supporters). It doesn't say much for lesbian visibility."

[...] Of course, the media is covering this story so extensively in part because Americans clearly prefer to read about lesbian cheerleaders more than Texas's anti-gay marriage amendment. At least, if phones ringing off hooks and websites crashing are any indication.

But this is just another example of the double-standard Americans have when it comes to lesbians.

As Kim Ficera mentioned in her recent column about the media coverage of the Sheryl Swoopes news, "I can’t keep up with the hypocrisy. Do Americans hate lesbians or love lesbians? Lesbians who want to get married, want to adopt, and want equal rights are all bad; but lesbians in lingerie, lesbians in videos, straight women who play lesbians on TV, and now lesbians with basketballs, are all good."

So are lesbian cheerleaders, apparently--or cheerleaders we want to believe are lesbians, anyway.

As long as they don't try to get married.

On the upside (she said, steadily ignoring the violent tic she's developing in her left eye), Penthouse has offered the ladies some additional income for minor photographic services -- should the need arise in these troubled, troubled times.

O'Reilly calls for San Francisco's punishment

O'Reilly's really losing it. You gotta wonder what the guy is thinking when these words fall out of his mouth:

" Hey, you know, if you want to ban military recruiting, fine, but I'm not going to give you another nickel of federal money. You know, if I'm the president of the United States, I walk right into Union Square, I set up my little presidential podium, and I say, 'Listen, citizens of San Francisco, if you vote against military recruiting, you're not going to get another nickel in federal funds. Fine. You want to be your own country? Go right ahead.'

"And if Al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we're not going to do anything about it. We're going to say, look, every other place in America is off limits to you, except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead." [transcript]


And for the audio, check out Crooks and Liars.

Oh, yes, that is O'Reilly inviting the murder of American citizens. (Btw - visit the News Hounds link if you want phone numbers and emails to use for calling and complaining). Is that man entirely off his rocker? How can you lecture against the ACLU and call it an organziation that aids terrorism while spewing filth like this? It blows my mind.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Rethinking the past is bad, apparently

Bush: Critics rewriting Iraq war history

President Bush today accused critics of the Iraq war of distorting events leading up to the invasion, saying Democrats saw the same intelligence and came to similar conclusions. "While it's perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began." Bush said. Democrats responded immediately -- and angrily.


So... we're now against rethinking? Against revision? Against thinking about the past and trying to avoid its mistakes? Against looking at ourselves and asking if we're going down the right path?

This is the stupidest statement out of this man's mouth as of yet. And we're talking about a guy who said that OB-GYNs should continue to practice their "love of women," used the word subliminable ... and, well, the list goes on. You get it.

Still, this is infuriating.

Hate crime legislation

Right now, I'm working on a paper in defense of hate crime legislation. I found this blogger's post that inspired me. Check it out.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Evolution Schmevolution Bevolution

So, we all know that ...

The fiercely split Kansas Board of Education voted 6 to 4 on Tuesday to adopt new science standards that are the most far-reaching in the nation in challenging Darwin's theory of evolution in the classroom. [link]


Well, this is funny:

And never forget which party embraces this idiocy. It's the party of a president who can give a speech to the nation on the danger of bird flu making the jump to humans yet still claims the jury is out on evolution. How exactly does he think that jump will be made? A late inning intelligent redesign of the virus? [link]


From Three Way News

Biology Sodomizes Man-Logic

Then Redneck Mother sodomizes Man-Logic.

Women are not baby-vending machines!

Yes, it's true. Biology, which is not always constrained by the logic of the Science!Patriarchy --- don't even argue, guys...it's still a patriarchy and you know it, trumps legislation in a fair game (which it isn't).

The gist? Get your damnhellass laws out of my damnhellass uterus. If I can't control the damndable thing, why should you?

Then, Twisty Faster of I Blame the Patriarchy (I salute him, because he is a man who is actually sensitive to women. Dude, if there were only more like him...) brought to my attention an...interesting...article.

I've copied the whole blarghing thing because Philly.com is registration resticted and I play by no one's rules, not even my own.

Carnal Knowledge | Paralyzed women rediscover orgasms

By Faye Flam

Despite a glut of literature available on how to have more and better orgasms, science is only beginning to unravel the mysteries of the nervous system. The experiences of some paralyzed women prove how little we know: Though seemingly cut off from all feeling below the waist, some have found they still had orgasms when they tried sex.

More mysterious still, some could have orgasms when touched in a spot on the trunk or neck just above the region of injury.

One Philadelphia-area woman who was paralyzed from the waist down in a car accident was overwhelmed to learn she'd never walk again. She was 30, and single. She assumed she'd never enjoy sex again either, though at the time it was a lesser concern.

Ten years later she fell in love. The couple tried sex. "I was fulfilled, I had orgasms," she said. "It was like I was reborn."

Neurologist Barry Komisaruk of Rutgers University has been studying sex in paralyzed women for the last 10 years. Sometimes, the loss of sex was the most devastating and irreconcilable consequence of spinal-cord injury, he says, tearing apart relationships and families.

"Doctors had told many of them their sex life was over because there's no pathway to the brain," Komisaruk said.

A behavioral neuroscientist, he started out studying the nervous systems of rats. In female rats, the vaginal stimulation from sex caused a cascade of hormonal changes and kicked in a painkilling effect more powerful than morphine. There could be a blockbuster drug in this, he reasoned, if he could decode the neurobiology of female rat sex.

He tried severing the three known nerve pathways that connect the genitals to the brain - the pelvic, pudendal and hypogastric nerves. Oddly, the rats reacted to sexual stimulation as if their nerves were intact.

He discovered a new channel for sexual pleasure - the vagus nerve - which threads from the brain through the lungs, intestines, and other internal organs, bypassing the spinal cord.

Could the vagus nerve also channel sexual sensations in humans? To find out, he decided to study women with complete spinal-cord injury.

He and colleague Beverly Whipple brought women into their lab and interviewed them. In their stories, recorded in a 1997 academic paper, most had shut down sexually at first.

"I have no feeling... therefore I can't experience any type of sexual pleasure... . I became I guess you'd call frigid... ice woman... ," one said.

"I went back to teaching full time... I drove my car... everything was in its place except for my liking myself and my sexuality, and feeling like I was a woman again," reported another.

In months or years, many of them began to experiment with sex, either to please a partner or because they were curious. Some discovered they could orgasm from sex, others found their nervous system had become reorganized, so they discovered new hypersensitive regions above their injury that could lead to orgasm.

In the lab, the researchers investigated the women's sexual potential directly by giving them a device called a stimulator, which looks a little like a tampon. It's designed to create sensation in the vagina and cervix.

"Some of the women who realized they still had sensation started crying," Komisaruk said. Until then, they had given up.

Last year, his team began using MRI to look at what was happening in their brains as women were having orgasms.

He found in those with and without spinal injury, it lit up an area called the nucleus accumbens which is, not surprisingly, also activated by nicotine and cocaine.

He also scanned women who had orgasms from being touched above the injury, and found that in the brain it looked like any other orgasm.

Komisaruk and his colleagues are now trying to change patient care to put more emphasis on the possibility of sex after spinal-cord injury. They're also planning more brain scanning to better understand orgasm and compare the male and female versions.

For a phenomenon that many experience several times a week - or even every day - there's still plenty of terra incognita to be explored.
Contact staff writer Faye Flam at 215-854-4977 or fflam@phillynews.com.


I'm sorry, but it's a pain to set up accounts all over the place. The registration is free, but I live for you convenience after all.

Some interesting notes:

In the lab, the researchers investigated the women's sexual potential directly by giving them a device called a stimulator, which looks a little like a tampon. It's designed to create sensation in the vagina and cervix.


Yeah, some of us call that a vibrator. (emphasis mine)

A behavioral neuroscientist, he started out studying the nervous systems of rats. In female rats, the vaginal stimulation from sex caused a cascade of hormonal changes and kicked in a painkilling effect more powerful than morphine. There could be a blockbuster drug in this, he reasoned, if he could decode the neurobiology of female rat sex.


Note the emphasis on the drug aspect. I guess it's not about helping female parapalegics experience something wonderful that they thought that they were denied. It's about making a new painkiller. And, I don't know about the rest of you, orgasm is addictive. Put that in pill form? Yeah, you best believe it'll sell well on the streets.

Last year, his team began using MRI to look at what was happening in their brains as women were having orgasms.

He found in those with and without spinal injury, it lit up an area called the nucleus accumbens which is, not surprisingly, also activated by nicotine and cocaine.


Yeah. See above.

Nothing quite like Big Pharma-driven Douchebaggery.

Except maybe Patriarchal Douchebaggery

Powell's flippin' like a flapjack at a cheap diner...

Well, not so, so much. I just really liked that phrase.

I don't know why, but I always harbored secret notions that his flagrant asshattery was more about being a good (read: loyal) soldier to Drinky McDrugFace than him being an actual example of Pure Evil (A warning: the "Pure Evil" link links to a 184 K animation. If you have the bandwidth I put some effort into it. If not, no worries...).

Wandering around to the point...

He (and his staff of Small Plastic Army Men) keeps hinting at what really went on. (*cough*cabal*cough* --- a side note: while I appreciate the animosity toward the apologists, why don't we spend our angry polemic points on someone who still needs to be knocked down a few pegs instead of people on our side, even if they aren't as progressive as thou?)

Here's the latest:

But according to individuals familiar with Powell’s conversations in the days leading up to his UN presentation, an exchange between Powell and the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Joseph Biden (D-DE), indicates that the Secretary may have already had issue with the evidence presented for going to war with Iraq.

Several days prior to his UN presentation, then-Secretary Powell had a private conversation with Sen. Biden, sources familiar with the Secretary's account say.

During this conversation, Biden reiterated much of what he had said during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s hearing on the evidence as presented by Powell deputy Richard Armitage. According to sources, Biden expressed his concerns to Powell about the reliability of the evidence, and encouraged the Secretary to speak only about intelligence that he was sure of.

“Mr. Secretary, tell them what you know,” Biden said, according to those familiar with the conversation.

“…When we are both out of office for two years, I will tell you what is going on here,” they say Powell replied.

One individual familiar with the conversation said it suggested Powell had personal reservations about the intelligence. Read On.


Lets give it another couple days and see what comes of it. I don't think we need to hook up electrodes to his genitals to find out more, but I think with the right cajoling he might give up more. I also want to know what Biden has to say...

Gay rights here and in the UK

So while the UK is expanding gay civil rights laws ....

It will be illegal to bar gays and lesbians from clubs and hotels under new legislation approved Tuesday in the House of Lords.

The legislation pushed by gay peer Lord Alli amends the government's Equality Bill that will outlaw discrimination on ground of sexual orientation in providing goods and services or organizing public functions.

Firing someone or refusing to hire them on the grounds of sexuality is already legal in Britain.


... the anti-gay marriage amendment is pushing forward in the US.

The federal marriage amendment was approved by a Senate sub-committee Wednesday and is likely to go to a vote of the full Judiciary Committee next week.

The sub-committee voted 5 - 4 along party lines to pass the amendment, called the "Marriage Protection Act". It defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman.

Democrats on the sub-committee said the amendment is not needed. The Defense of Marriage Act, signed into law by President Bill Clinton already prevents the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage.


So. Anyone else feel like expatriating?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

News for the day

Surprise, surprise! Texas votes to ban gay marriage.




Remember, burning regular flags is bad, but burning gay flags is a-okay! Check this one out. It's Phelps-esque:

Carrying signs that said "Fags Die, God Laughs" the group of about 25 denounced the university for its LGBT diversity program. The group has held a number of anti-gay protests at UI over the past few years but, the campus newspaper, The Daily Student, said this was the largest.

Some of the protestors brought children singing hymns.


Wow.




At least we have some good news in Maine.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Oh, McCain

This is really unfortunate. We're losing McCain.

Summary: he's gearing up for an '08 run. And in order to be taken seriously as a candidate for the right, he's cozying up with some real bad folks.

This includes Rev. Jerry Falwell, asshole extraordinaire.

For all the details, go here.

A simplification on Gay marriage

I was cruising about, looking for something you guys would actually care about, and I stumbled back upon Pandagon. I don't regularly read this blog (there are just so damn many!) but they are a female blog group.

Anyhow, one of the bloggers, Amanda, posted a beautiful simplification of the gay marriage argument.

I have to say, at this point having the KKK protest something is mostly good press for whatever cause it is. How much more pathetic does it get than 3,000 people turning out for gay rights and 14 people turning out against them? And it's nice and clarifying, too--for anyone who plans to go into the voting booth and push the button for the constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage now has to live with the fact that they're standing with the KKK on this one.Read on.


(Emphasis mine.)

Instead of being all touchy-feely about it, maybe we should just use this as our tagline---anyone who likes the Klan will never be on our side anyway.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Who follow the teachings of Cathol...

Just when you think you have the Catholics figured out...

They tell you to respect Science.

No I'm not lying.

See for yourself:

But we also know the dangers of a religion that severs its links with reason and becomes prey to fundamentalism. Read More!


Yeah.

I'm sure that Cardinal will soon get his comeuppance. Let's just hope he gets listened to enough before then.

Cho quote

I read Margaret Cho's blog, and I liked something she said today:

People ask me why, since I myself am married to a man, why would I work so hard to make gay marriage a reality? I answer that today, no one questions the white students who went to Mississippi to march with Martin Luther King. That will set them straight, as it were, pretty fast. Still, I don’t understand why that isn’t obvious. It feels like a dumb question to me. [link]


That's a good point. Much love, Margaret.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Catholic church to look at gay adoption

Ah, great. This is what the world needs: the Catholic church is going to review adoptions by gay parents.

The Church that is having issues with sexual abuse from its priests is going to try to lecture others in how to deal with children. Great. Just great.

Anti-American protests?

I've noticed a lot of mention about the "anti-American protests" in Argentine from CNN. And, you know, I have not been following this in the news, so I don't want to yap about things I don't know. But I did find this interesting update from Think Progress:

Summit of the Americas: Then and Now

There are pictures on that site, so you should check them out. It's an interesting study in then and now.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Equal rights

I was just thinking about this topic - tonight, I plan to write the proposal for a paper on this issue.

Anyway, Pressure Mounting On Congress To Pass LGBT Civil Rights Bill:

LGBT civil rights groups are ratcheting up their lobbying efforts to get Congress to pass civil rights protections for gays, lesbians and the transgendered.

The United States remains the only major industrialized nation not to have laws providing equality in employment and housing for the LGBT community.

Legislation to provide job protections died in the past two sessions of Congress. Neither of those bill included the transgendered.

A new bill is expected to be introduced in this session and for the first time LGBT rights groups are making a major push to ensure the legislation provides protections for the transgendered.


I'm really interested to see how this turns out.

I don't think this most recent attempt to expand hate crime laws will be successful - it's failed so many times before - but I can't help but to have a bit of hope left.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Quote Post - Dorothy Allison's Skin

From Dorothy Allison's Skin: Talking about Sex, Class, and Literature, page 157-158:

What was it like to be a lesbian before the woman's movement? It was to have the most dangerous addiction, risk the greatest loss, defy the most terribly consequences. The moon was not sufficient, and too many of us hated ourselves and feared our desire. But when we found each other, we made miracles - miracles of hope and defiance and love. This is the story that takes years to tell, my hand in hers and her trusting eyes, loose hair and learning to dance at thirty, borrowing and translating all my aunts' old stories, not talking in code, just pulling these butch girls down.

Everything is so sexual to me. Everything is a miracle. I am forty-four, almost the kind of old I intend to be - insistent, startling, sexual, and surprising. I like to use the rough words off my aunts' porches and use them to my own intent. I like to do the outrageous and tell stories about it, make nervous women giggle and giggly women nervous. I am never discrete, never what is expected. I have always loved those tough girls, those women who combine silence and power, but I am in my blossoming still, my long-delayed adolescence, my perfectly femme phase, and only half a mind to tell all I know.


This is the coda.

I have an ambition to be my own adolescent fantasy, to realize the science fiction fable and go back to that girl I was. I want to appear out of a moonlit lotus, find her twelve years old on a hardwood floor, reach down and take her hands, pull her up and tell her the story she has not yet lived. My life, her life, the life of a lesbian who learned the worth and price of sex. I want to call her Little Sister and laugh in a voice she will recognize. Say, sex is delicious. Sex is power. Never pretend that you do not want power in your life. Sex.

I'm going to get there somehow, swing my hair and promise my younger self that the struggle will be worth it.

"Girl," I want to say to her. "Hang on, honey. You are going to like it. It is going to be worth the price, worth the struggle. Child," I want to say, "you are going to be happy."

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Methodist Church: hate is the new love

I just grabbed this off AMERICAblog.

Remember Stroud? Well, as she was defrocked, the Methodist Church also reinstated another minister - one who was suspended because he refuesed congregation membership for a gay man.

The Judicial Council's rulings also represented a sharp reversal in fortune for the Rev. Edward Johnson, pastor of South Hill United Methodist Church in South Hill, Va.

Johnson had been on involuntary, unpaid leave since June, when his fellow ministers in the church's Virginia conference voted 581-20 to punish him for refusing to allow a gay man to become a member of his congregation. His district superintendent and Virginia's Methodist bishop, Charlene P. Kammerer, had counseled him to admit the man, who had been attending the church and singing in the choir for months.

The Judicial Council reinstated Johnson by a 5-3 vote with one member absent. It said the church's laws give local pastors the discretion ''to make the determination of a person's readiness to affirm the vows of membership." [link]


It's a proud day in the church, indeed.