Thursday, April 30, 2009
"Well I think it's great that Americans are able to choose one or the other. Um, we live in a land that you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage, and, you know what, in my country and in my family I think I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that's how I was raised and that's how I think it should be between a man and woman. Thank you."First off, I applaud her for stating her actual beliefs under pressure. I do not think people should be coerced to believe in something that you believe. She could have just as easily said she supports it, and not been true to herself; but she didn't, and she can feel good about that. She was righteous at that moment. Now, do I agree with her? Absolutely not, but I am not going to go around wasting my time bitching and moaning about how Miss California used her chance on stage during the MISS USA® pageant to promote bigotry. She didn't. She was asked a question, she answered it. Get over it. Furthermore, Perez Hilton is a douche bag.
The problem I have is with people, like herself, that do not give any substantial explanation as to why same-sex marriage should not be legal, other than "that's how I was raised". It becomes an even bigger problem for me (and others alike) when anti-same-sex marriage advocates use fear and misinformation to obtain their own ends. I cannot believe that we are still arguing about this non-issue. Church and State are separate under the United States Constitution.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."Prohibiting same-sex marriage, through legal means, is (quite obviously) respecting an establishment of religion(s). Can we make it any simpler?
And here is the new ad, released today, by the National Organization for Marriage:
Thanks for the heads up Slog.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
"I can remember all of the wonderful times that just you & I have had together. (Like me spilling the coffee on you at the Bittersweet). I remember you playing for hours making all of your little sounds building throwing tossing dismantling of things. You would play & all of a sudden you would stop run over to wherever I was & give me a hug pat my butt leg or shoulder, grit your teeth & then go back to your playing.*Please note that I made no edits to the letter.
"There isn't much of anything I forgot about you & watching you grow from this little boy with hair that stood straight up dressed in your sisters clothes. I remember your temper tantrums. I remember teaching you how to pee standing up, how to dress buying your first jock strap. Coming outside & you had put on a bike helmet so you wouldn't get hit in the head when you tried to make a basket outside."
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
If you are going to get married, and you even contemplate getting a divorce in the future, DO NOT GET MARRIED! Yeah, homosexuals are ruining marriage. Homosexuals. I'm calling bullshit on that one right now. Couples that treat marriage as anything other than a lifelong commitment should lose the right to marry. It's good to know that if and when I find the person I want to spend the rest of my life with, based on its legal status as of now, I will not be allowed to marry that person. But my friend's friend can get married at her leisure and break that marriage at her leisure as well. Ridiculous.
Photo from mississippifamilylawblog.com.
Monday, April 27, 2009
"Graduate education is the Detroit of higher learning. Most graduate programs in American universities produce a product for which there is no market (candidates for teaching positions that do not exist) and develop skills for which there is diminishing demand (research in subfields within subfields and publication in journals read by no one other than a few like-minded colleagues), all at a rapidly rising cost (sometimes well over $100,000 in student loans).Since college, I have always held the notion that all original ideas (short of the insane) have been spoken for. The kinds of theories and ideas that graduate students base their theses on are quite often mere critiques of other critiques of an original source.
"The emphasis on narrow scholarship also encourages an educational system that has become a process of cloning. Faculty members cultivate those students whose futures they envision as identical to their own pasts, even though their tenures will stand in the way of these students having futures as full professors."The dirty secret of higher education is that without underpaid graduate students to help in laboratories and with teaching, universities couldn’t conduct research or even instruct their growing undergraduate populations. That’s one of the main reasons we still encourage people to enroll in doctoral programs. It is simply cheaper to provide graduate students with modest stipends and adjuncts with as little as $5,000 a course — with no benefits — than it is to hire full-time professors."
"...his best student was doing his dissertation on how the medieval theologian Duns Scotus used citations."No one is going to come up with a new perception of Plato's dialogues or Kant's metaphysics. Those were the new ideas, and now we have reached the end of original thinking (see excerpt above) -- I am fully aware that I am making a very bold (and probably controversial) declaration on intellectualism. I think science is the only field in which there can be further discoveries and inventiveness. As for most other fields of knowledge, we are merely trying to perfect what it is that we already know.
Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) promised to keep up the heat, telling reporters last week, “She and other leaders were fully briefed on all of these interrogation techniques. There’s nothing here that should surprise her.” Democrats dismiss such talk as a sideshow, arguing that the criticism of Pelosi is nothing compared with the long-term damage done to Republicans by the disclosure of Bush administration interrogation abuses.And from CSM:
President Obama’s decision to make public four Bush-era memos authorizing “enhanced interrogation techniques” of terrorist suspects is now putting key Democrats on the spot, too. The top Republican on the House intelligence committee is calling for the release of the names all members of Congress briefed on these techniques, as well as the substance of those briefings.I think what upsets me the most is that the democrats are firing back with a "well, torture is far worse than lying about it" tone. How have we not completely lost faith in humanity? This is not a game. This is not about winning or losing; it's about doing what is right versus what is wrong. Stop all this bullshit and get to work. There is so much that I have wanted to say with regards to all this torturing business, but it just makes my head hurt. There is nothing I can say that hasn't already been said by Andrew Sullivan. The case on whether or not to pursue prosecutions of Bush administration officials is closed here.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
From left to right, top row: was trying to grow a beard, was trying to be uptight, was having a good time at Starbucks (enjoying a fatty beverage, no doubt).
From left to right, middle row: was trying to grow a mustache--marchstache 2009 was better executed, was just really fat*, was tired and post-shave.
From left to right, bottom row: was hanging out on a friend's porch--those were good times, was trying to "dress nice"*, was trying to make screwdrivers in my mouth--bad decision, ultimately.
*You'll notice in these two photos, respectively, that I had a Pizza Hut box, a McDonalds bag, and a Subway bag--how did that get in there?--and a poster of Christina Aguilera, which was in no way related to me being in denial of the fact that I was/am a pseudo-flaming homosexual.
Friday, April 24, 2009
"Don't cross off days until they're over for everyone prease?"What does that mean? Why is the 23rd not crossed off, but the 27th and the 30th are? Is there any special reason why the note was written on Holocaust Remembrance Day? Is someone further perpetuating the stereotype that Asians say "prease" rather than "please"? These are questions that puzzle me, and I'm afraid I will never find their answers.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
[Update: As I now recall, this was my new year's eve party for 2005. This, incidentally, was also the very first time that I got blackout drunk.]
Monday, April 20, 2009
Potted NeighborRead the response here. Kudos to Blaire. And how apropos of today's celebrated activity.
In our apartment building, a guy smokes pot frequently. In Seattle, where I live, pot has been designated a low priority for our police department.
I have nothing against it, but the constant smell is making me ill. Is there a polite way to ask him to stop?
Blaire Notrica, Seattle
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
You want to go camping? Great. Book a date and time for your camp ground area. When you go to the grocery store to buy all the necessary provisions, get as many delicious tasting items as you can. Be sure to bring a large hunting knife. That is very important. After you're all settled and ready for bed (let's assume you at something prior to your arrival at the camp ground), leave all of your delicious food items out (convenient, eh?). When you wake up, you will notice that a pig has ravaged your food supply, and you are now shit out of luck. Or are you?
Remember that large hunting knife you (hopefully) brought with you? You're going to want to grab that and hunt down that son a bitch pig that ate all of your food. If you forgot to bring the knife, you're going to have to spend about 45 minutes strangling your pig to death. This is not a pleasant experience; the pig will not go quietly. Okay, now that you've slaughtered and skewed your pig, you're going to want to jam an apple it its mouth and roast it over an open fire until its meat is cooked and filled with the delicious flavors of all that food you brought.
Repeat as necessary. Enjoy!
I've seen this place always stuffed to the rafters with people no matter what day of the week it is. They pride themselves on good service and amazing ice cream. Some of their unusual, yet delectable, flavors include: Maple Walnut, Balsamic Strawberry, Honey Lavender, Mandarin Chocolate Sorbet, Thai Iced Tea, and of course, Chocolate, Strawberry, and Vanilla Bean. The one that I had my heart set on was Vivace Coffee. Vivace Brix is usually where I spend a few hours of my time every Thursday, so I had to know what my favorite coffee in ice cream form would taste like. It was absolutely delicious. The best part of it was that the coffee grounds were in the ice cream as well. However, considering I've been avoiding caffeine lately, this may not have been the best decision at near 11 o'clock at night. As such, I give this establishment my seal of approval.
Photo from slog.thestranger.com.
The Obama administration said Friday that it would appeal a district court ruling that granted some military prisoners in Afghanistan the right to file lawsuits seeking their release. The decision signaled that the administration was not backing down in its effort to maintain the power to imprison terrorism suspects for extended periods without judicial oversight.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
I. THE MOST EFFECTIVE SINGLE SENTENCE:This is so laughable. This information is on a publicly viewed website, when it seems almost as if it should be spoken behind closed doors to those who are about to stand in the public spotlight in defense of being against same-sex marriage. This seems rather prevalent in the line "they know it causes us to lose about ten percentage points in polls" and everything thereafter. There is no explicit statement denying that they want to, in fact, ban same-sex marriage. There is, however, a tacit implication that these people will not sleep until there is a constitutional ban on same-sex marriages. In fact, I don't think it's even fair to call it "tacit". At least that's how Iowa State Representative Steve King feels:
Extensive and repeated polling agrees that the single most effective message is:
"Gays and Lesbians have a right to live as they choose,
they don’t have the right to redefine marriage for all of us."
This allows people to express support for tolerance while opposing gay marriage. Some modify it to “People have a right to live as they choose, they don’t have the right to redefine marriage for all of us.”
Language to avoid at all costs: "Ban same-sex marriage." Our base loves this wording. So do supporters of SSM. They know it causes us to lose about ten percentage points in polls. Don’t use it. Say we’re against “redefining marriage” or in favor or “marriage as the union of husband and wife” NEVER “banning same-sex marriage."
Now it is the Iowa legislature’s responsibility to pass the Marriage Amendment to the Iowa Constitution, clarifying that marriage is between one man and one woman, to give the power that the Supreme Court has arrogated to itself back to the people of Iowa. Along with a constitutional amendment, the legislature must also enact marriage license residency requirements so that Iowa does not become the gay marriage Mecca due to the Supreme Court’s latest experiment in social engineering.Perhaps, rather than spending millions of dollars on trying to fix a problem that doesn't exist, these anti-gay groups should spend money trying to fix the problems that do exist: poverty, homelessness, starvation, etc.
*You can read what other talking points and frequently asked questions they have on their website.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
- Homosexuals and heterosexuals that support same-sex marriage rights.
- Social conservatives that oppose same-sex marriage on religious grounds.
- People who are religious but support same-sex marriage.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
"Well, now that these victories have come, and in such a sweeping manner, you think the court will continue to draw their decision out until the very end, or come to a conclusion and announce soon, only (hopefully) further adding to the victories at hand?"The victories of which I speak are, of course, the Iowa Supreme Court's ruling same-sex marriages legal in that state, the overriding of Vermont Governor Jim Douglas' veto on same-sex marriages in that state, and the approval of the D.C. council to recognize same-sex marriages. The court has just under 60 days remaining to make a ruling on whether or not Prop 8 should be upheld or overturned, and whether or not the several thousand same-sex marriages performed prior to the election should be nullified.
The trees were actually removed a while ago due to them being overly excessive in height. Hence, you will understand why my pictures look so devoid of much nature. Click on the photos to view them in their full size.
The D.C. Council voted today to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, on the same day that Vermont became the fourth state to legalize same-sex unions.
Domestic partnerships are already legal in the nation's capital. But today's vote, billed as an important milestone in gay rights, explicitly recognizes relocated gay married couples as married.
The initial vote was 12-0. The unanimous vote sets the stage for future debate on legalizing same-sex marriage in the District and a clash with Congress, which approves the city's laws under Home Rule. The council is expected to take a final vote on the legislation next month.
Iowa, Vermont, and now D.C. There really is no telling how far this will reach. As I mentioned to a coworker today, given all these remarkable gay rights victories, I almost feel a bit cheated with the domestic partnership bill in the Washington state legislature. But, as she said, "you've got to start somewhere," and we're doing just that.
I'm currently on the bus, running late to work, and in checking my email i received a breaking news report from the Washington Post with the headline that Vermont Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage in that state after both the Senate and House voted to override Governor Jim Douglas' veto. This now makes Vermont the fourth state in the United States to legalize same-sex marriages. Furthermore, this is the first time in which the law was passed in the legislature. Iowa's supreme court last week ruled that it was unconstitutional to disallow same-sex couples to marry, effectively making Iowa the third state to legalize same-sex marriages.
The Washington Post reports
The issue is also advancing in New Hampshire, where it has passed the state House and is awaiting action by the Senate, as well as in Maine and New Jersey, which are debating same-sex marriage legislation.
New Jersey, which now allows civil unions for gay couples, is a particular prize for advocates because of its large size, and they are hoping for action this year after a commission in December recommended making marriage laws gender-neutral. Gov. Jon S. Corzine has said he would sign a same-sex marriage bill.
New York recognizes same-sex marriages performed in other states, and Gov. David Paterson has said he supports full marriage rights for same-sex couples. And sometime before early June, the California Supreme Court must decide whether Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in the Golden State about five months after it became legal, was a valid use of the referendum power.
The action Tuesday in Vermont came swiftly, surprising even some of the proponents of gay marriage who were still celebrating their victory last Friday, when the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriages could go ahead.
The two houses of Vermont's legislature voted last week for a same-sex marriage bill -- four votes short of a veto-overriding majority -- and Gov. Jim Douglas (R) vetoed it Monday. But Tuesday, several house members who voted against it last week switched sides to support the override, making gay marriage law.
The final vote was 100 to 49 to override the governor's veto. The initial vote last week was 94 to 52. Vermont has no mechanism for a citizen referendum to override the law.
As a personal side note, this is the first time in my life that I was so overwhelmed with joy that I broke down in tears, and on the bus no less. As several people have mentioned, it is only a matter of time now. Other states will follow. There is no going back on these giant steps of progress. And to update you as to the status of the domestic partnership bill in the Washington legislature right now, as of today, the bill was referred to the Rules Committee for its second reading. I believe that after that it goes to its third reading for a final vote, and then to the governor for its signing into law. At this point, it is (seemingly) going to pass without hesitation.
Monday, April 6, 2009
And you should check out the Hen Cam too. My coworker, Rene, has me hooked on it.
Also, I would appreciate it if people would understand that the walking lane is for walking, and the speed lane is for cyclists, longboarders, skateboarders, skaters, and runners.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Sunday - Sunny - 65 degreesI work on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday; there will be warm temperatures and sunshine on those days. I do not work on Wednesday and Thursday; there will be cold temperatures and rain. The weather gods hate me.
Monday - Sunny - 70 degrees
Tuesday - Sunny - 68 degrees
Wednesday - Rain - 55 degrees
Thursday - Rain - 50 degrees
Los Angeles. A would-be movie reviewer, looking for romance, takes an assignment to write a magazine article about celebrity look-alikes. After getting to know a Steve Martin impersonator, the writer decides to undertake his own process of transformation and becomes not Steve Martin but a version of him—graceful, charming, at home in the world. Safe in the guise of “Steve,” he begins to fall in love. And that’s when “Steve” takes over. Set in the capital of illusion, this is a story of one man’s journey into paradise—and his attempt to come out the other side.One must read the relatively short novel below its surface and understand what it is that Haskell is trying to do here. That is, how do we reconcile with who we are, and when we become someone else, how do we find the way to return to our original self. I guess the more concise and simplistic way of describing it would be to say it deals with issues of identity. One thing is determinate when I try and write reviews, and that is that I cannot write reviews.
The story reminded me that life is about taking risks; every encounter is an opportunity to learn and grow; don't be afraid of trying something new and unexpected. I am currently one chapter deep into his previous novel, "American Purgatorio", which met with rave reviews.
*Photo from us.macmillan.com/FSG.aspx
Saturday, April 4, 2009
*The first two examples are true; as for the rest...well, I'm sure they hate all those things too.
Transvestite teachers. Boys kissing boys in restrooms. Teens taught about anal sex. "Gay" fairy tales for children.
Could these things actually become a reality in our public schools? The speed of change in our society thus far, driven by resolute homosexual activists, indicates that the answer is most assuredly yes.
In case some people think such projections about the future are a hunk of homophobic hooey, they might want to consider the fact that, in some parts of the country, these things are already happening.
So what changes can be expected, and what would life in our public schools be like if homosexual activists win the culture war? The following are predictions based on current trends.For more than 30 years, homosexual activists have been demanding that our Judeo-Christian culture capitulate and embrace their view of human sexuality, marriage and family. If Americans ever accept these demands, they can expect to live in a culture that will be turned upside down — literally unhinged from the sane moorings instituted by the God of heaven.
Harvey’s prediction is of a grotesque culture that includes: "Lesbian bride dolls. Fourth grade ‘gay’ clubs. A king and king at the high school prom. Dating tips for same-sex teens. Bathroom ogling — and sometimes quick encounters — in the middle school boys’ restroom."
Fortunately, while the groundwork for these changes has been laid, it is not yet a done deal. But Americans who believe there is something inherently abnormal, unnatural and immoral about homosexuality had better stand up right now.
If the public schools are lost to homosexual activists, our children and grandchildren will be thrown into a queer new world. And there’s nothing gay about that.
This is pure homophobic, sensationalized, and arrogant bullshit. I would like to think that I would have "come out" far sooner had I been more aware of my place in the world as a gay man. But let us remember that this was written four years ago. Have their predictions come true? I think not. In fact, these people are quickly becoming the minority opinion holders.
As an interesting side note...
68% like to hang toilet paper with the first sheet going over the roll, while 25% prefer to hang the first sheet under the roll.
[Update: The bus finally arrived, rather full of passengers, at 6:32 pm. I arrived downtown, at 6th and Union, at 7:02 pm.]
Friday, April 3, 2009
Parliament voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to recognise same-sex marriage, becoming the fifth country in Europe to do so. Sweden was one of the first countries to give gay couples legal "partnership" rights, in the mid-1990s, and allowed them to adopt children from 2002. The new law lets homosexuals wed in either a civil or religious ceremony, though individual churches can opt out. The law was passed by 226 votes to 22 and will come into force on 1 May.
Norway legalized gay marriage, officially, on January 1st, making it the 6th nation in the world to do so.
In other good news:
"In a unanimous decision, the Iowa Supreme Court today held that the Iowa statute limiting civil marriage to a union between a man and a woman violates the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution"
Andrew Sullivan makes a succinct point on the matter here. Thanks to Slog for the link.
Bittersweet news from Vermont:
The Vermont House of Representatives approved a bill legalizing gay marriage Thursday, a divisive measure that now faces a veto from the state's governor.
The Democratic-controlled house voted 95-52 in favor of the bill, which had already cleared the state Senate in a 26-4 vote. The state's Republican governor, James Douglas, says he now plans to veto it.
Good news from Maine:
And good news from New Hampshire:
With just over three weeks to go before a hearing on a gay marriage bill in the Maine Legislature, both proponents and those opposed to the measure are urging people to contact their local legislator.
LD 1020, "An Act To End Discrimination in Civil Marriage and Affirm Religious Freedom," will be heard before the Joint Judiciary Committee on April 24. So many people are expected to attend the hearing that it is being held at Cony High School in Augusta instead of the Statehouse.The bill seeks to give homosexuals the right to marry legally in Maine.
After two days of debating, the New Hampshire House voted for gay marriage 186 to 179 after first voting against it, 183 to 182.It's only a matter of time at this point. This shouldn't be about winning and losing, it should (and is) about human beings trying to get the equal rights to which so many people are already entitled. Having said that, the social conservatives are losing (and will continue to lose) this fight.
The first vote against equal marriage was so close that a representative asked for it to be reconsidered. After a few minutes of intense personal lobbying on the floor, it passed.
The bill next advances to the state Senate. Gov. John Lynch, a Democrat, is opposed to gay marriage, though he has not indicated whether he would veto the bill.
New Hampshire approved civil unions two years ago and were signed into law by Lynch; they went into effect last year.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
I once knew a guy that absolutely loved this book. In fact, he is the one who introduced me to Bret Easton Ellis (not personally, but his work). He suggested I read "Glamorama" and try to explain any of it to him. I couldn't. Although, we only met once, and then never really spoke to each other again. Such is life. Here is the trailer for the movie. I didn't really enjoy the book, and the movie looks just as bad. Your thoughts? [Note: the trailer is explicit].
*Photo from en.wikipedia.org.
[Spoiler Alert] I liked it overall, and I couldn't help but laugh at the absurdity of it all. All this trouble befalls so many of the characters, and in the end, for what? Some government subsidized plastic surgery operations. Hilarious. The briefings between the CIA chiefs were the best parts. The fact that they really had no idea what was going on (they're in the intelligence business!), and their complete sense of apathy towards it all was perfect for the movie. I have no rating system that I use systematically, but for now I will give this movie a 3.5 out of 5 star rating. It's still a Coen brothers movie.
*Photo from en.wikipedia.org.
This is where the story gets interesting. To keep a long story short, let me just say that this was the house I grew up in, and for a very stupid reason, the house was lost to foreclosure. That being said, I fully appreciated the sick sense of irony I discovered taped to the front door. As we drove up and around the cul-de-sac I noticed a big white piece of paper was taped on the front door. I really wanted to know what it said, so I asked Erin to run up and check it out. While she did that I snapped the photo (above) of the house. When she returned to the car and told me what it said, I immediately ran over to verify that she wasn't lying. Here is what it said:
SHERIFF -- KING COUNTY
WARNINGALL PERSONS ARE NOTIFIED THAT THE PREMISES LOCATED AT:
WILL BE THE SUBJECT OF AN EVICTION CARRIED OUT BY OFFICERS OF THE KING COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE ON OR AFTER THE DATE OF: 4/2/09 8:00AM
- Any person remaining on these premises after the above date will be physically removed.
- Any person who interferes with or obstructs Sheriff's officers in the performance of their duties will be arrested.
- All possessions and property will be placed on the street or public right of way regardless of weather conditions!
- Animals found on these premises will be taken to the local animal control shelter.
- You must vacate these premises at once!
- No further warning of notice will be given.
After that we made our way back to I-5, and nearly getting killed after some jackass drove right through a solid red light and would have side-swiped the passenger's side had I not noticed that the guy was not going to stop. I'm not talking about the light turned red and he sped through it, I'm talking about how the light was red for a while at that point, and he just didn't want to stop. We took the express lanes through Seattle, got off at Northgate, and I dropped Erin off at Value Village (her home away from home) before venturing back up to Edmonds to catch my three buses home. I was tired after it all, and fell asleep around 7:30pm, and woke up around 8:00am this morning. It was some good sleep. This has been a very long post. Thanks for reading. *As a special side note, we ate at the exact same table where my mom spilled a hot cup of coffee in my little boy lap. Ouch, and oh...the memories!*