October 28, 2009

A Hate crimes calls meF*** Fagget come out and see your car being destroyed

On Friday October 23 on the way to my car, I was assaulted in the private parking lot of my building. F***Fagget was what was repeated by one guy and his brother. Not tenants in my building, but they come and go freely somehow.
On Sunday October 25, I heard a diatribe of fucking fagget out of my window. These two guys were calling me to watch as they destroyed my car.
More to come when they get apprehended. Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating. Can say much more now.

October 24, 2009

How do you feel if you were follow to see if you picked up after your dog??

I picked up this story at the NYTimes. It made sense to publish it now that these days in which more and more police and private cameras cover our moves in this city; There are people asking for more, because of fear to crime and terror. On the other hand there many on the other side asking for their right to privacy. Where do you stand???????????AG

Constant Surveillance Rankles Britons

By SARAH LYALL
Published: October 24, 2009
POOLE, England — It has become commonplace to call Britain a “surveillance society,” a place where security cameras lurk at every corner, giant databases keep track of intimate personal details and the government has extraordinary powers to intrude into citizens’ lives.

Andrew Testa for The New York Times
Jenny Paton with her daughters Thea, left, and Esme last month at their home in Poole. A school application by a third and youngest daughter set off a local council's surveillance of the family.

A report in 2007 by the lobbying group Privacy International placed Britain in the bottom five countries for its record on privacy and surveillance, on a par with Singapore.

But the intrusions visited on Jenny Paton, a 40-year-old mother of three, were startling just the same.

Suspecting Ms. Paton of falsifying her address to get her daughter into the neighborhood school, local officials here began a covert surveillance operation. They obtained her telephone billing records. And for more than three weeks in 2008, an officer from the Poole education department secretly followed her, noting on a log the movements of the “female and three children” and the “target vehicle” (that would be Ms. Paton, her daughters and their car).

It turned out that Ms. Paton had broken no rules. Her daughter was admitted to the school. But she has not let the matter rest. Her case, now scheduled to be heard by a regulatory tribunal, has become emblematic of the struggle between personal privacy and the ever more powerful state here.

The Poole Borough Council, which governs the area of Dorset where Ms. Paton lives with her partner and their children, says it has done nothing wrong.

In a way, that is true: under a law enacted in 2000 to regulate surveillance powers, it is legal for localities to follow residents secretly. Local governments regularly use these surveillance powers — which they “self-authorize,” without oversight from judges or law enforcement officers — to investigate malfeasance like illegally dumping industrial waste, loan-sharking and falsely claiming welfare benefits.

But they also use them to investigate reports of noise pollution and people who do not clean up their dogs’ waste. Local governments use them to catch people who fail to recycle, people who put their trash out too early, people who sell fireworks without licenses, people whose dogs bark too loudly and people who illegally operate taxicabs.

“Does our privacy mean anything?” Ms. Paton said in an interview. “I haven’t had a drink for 20 years, but there is nothing that has brought me closer to drinking than this case.”

The law in question is known as the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, or RIPA, and it also gives 474 local governments and 318 agencies — including the Ambulance Service and the Charity Commission — powers once held by only a handful of law enforcement and security service organizations.

Under the law, the localities and agencies can film people with hidden cameras, trawl through communication traffic data like phone calls and Web site visits and enlist undercover “agents” to pose, for example, as teenagers who want to buy alcohol.

In a report this summer, Sir Christopher Rose, the chief surveillance commissioner, said that local governments conducted nearly 5,000 “directed surveillance missions” in the year ending in March and that other public authorities carried out roughly the same amount.

Local officials say that using covert surveillance is justified. The Poole Borough Council, for example, used it to detect and prosecute illegal fishing in Poole Harbor.

“RIPA is an essential tool for local authority enforcement which we make limited use of in cases where it is proportionate and there are no other means of gathering evidence,” Tim Martin, who is in charge of legal and democratic services for Poole, which is southwest of London, said in a statement.

The fuss over the law comes against a backdrop of widespread public worry about an increasingly intrusive state and the growing circulation of personal details in vast databases compiled by the government and private companies.

“Successive U.K. governments have gradually constructed one of the most extensive and technologically advanced surveillance systems in the world,” the House of Lords Constitution Committee said in a recent report. It continued: “The development of electronic surveillance and the collection and processing of personal information have become pervasive, routine and almost taken for granted.”

The Lords report pointed out that the government enacted the law in the first place to provide a framework for a series of scattershot rules on surveillance. The goal was also to make such regulations compatible with privacy rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights.

RIPA is a complicated law that also regulates wiretapping and intrusive surveillance carried out by the security services. But faced with rumbles of public discontent about local governments’ behavior, the Home Office announced in the spring that it would review the legislation to make it clearer what localities should be allowed to do.

“The government has absolutely no interest in spying on law-abiding people going about their everyday lives,” Jacqui Smith, then home secretary, said.

One of the biggest criticisms of the law is that the targets of surveillance are usually unaware that they have been spied on.

Indeed, Ms. Paton learned what had happened only later, when officials summoned her to discuss her daughter’s school application. To her shock, they produced the covert surveillance report and the family’s telephone billing records.

Could this be what Gates said about a more humane in enforcing DADT?

Could ruling relax 'Don't Ask' without law change?
Source: DOD examining Witt as way to ease enforcement
By CHRIS JOHNSON | Oct 24 2009, 8:09 AM

The Defense Department is examining whether a ruling in a lawsuit challenging “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” could be used to relax enforcement of the policy without changing the law, according to a Senate aide.

The Pentagon “is looking carefully” at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling last year in Witt v. Air Force “to see if there are any nationwide implications beyond the Ninth Circuit,” said the aide, who spoke to the Washington Blade on condition of anonymity.

The ruling challenged the U.S. military to prove that the presence of Maj. Margaret Witt, a lesbian nurse who was discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” after serving in the Air Force for 18 years, was detrimental to unit cohesion.

The 9th Circuit remanded the case to district court for further consideration last year in light of protections granted by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2003 ruling in Lawrence v. Texas.

“It does not appear that there are” nationwide implications to the ruling, the aide said. “However, given the higher standard that applies for the 9th Circuit, [it] could be relevant across the country.”

The aide continued: “Given the fact that [Defense] Secretary [Robert] Gates has publicly said we’re going to look for humane ways to do this, clearly, the higher standard established in the Ninth Circuit provides some guidance on how to do that.”

Doug NeJaime, a gay associate professor at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, said the Witt case “could be a way to keep ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ on the books, but enforce it in a way that actually effects a much less significant number of people.”

NeJaime said Witt is an as-applied challenge, meaning the 9th Circuit considered “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” as a way to further government interests to maintain unit cohesion.

But the 9th Circuit disputed that notion in its ruling, and said in a footnote that it’s not Witt’s sexual orientation that undermines unit cohesion, but the process of discharging her from her unit.

NeJaime said if the U.S. military used this standard in its enforcement of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the law could be applied “in a more case-by-case” basis and examine whether the discharge of each service member actually inhibited unit cohesion.

“So, if [discharging] actually undermines unit cohesion … then you wouldn’t discharge,” NeJaime said. “So, I mean, it could allow for a much more forgiving ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy.”

This application of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” seems to be consistent with remarks Gates made in June, when he said he’s looking for a “more humane” way to implement the law, as well as whether there is any “flexibility” in applying it.

"Let me give you an example,” he said at the time. “Do we need to be driven when the information, to take action on somebody, if we get that information from somebody who may have vengeance in mind or blackmail or somebody who has been jilted?"

Cynthia Smith, a Pentagon spokesperson, didn’t respond to a request for comment on whether the Defense Department was looking at the Witt case as a way to mitigate “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

But in an earlier e-mail, Smith confirmed that officials were consulting with legal experts to find a different way to apply the law.

“The Secretary has asked the DOD General Counsel to review the law to determine if there is any flexibility in how this law is applied,” she said. “This action is still currently being reviewed by the [Office of the General Counsel.]”

Smith said there was no set time for a conclusion of this review.

Kevin Nix, spokesperson for the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, also said the Pentagon could decide to follow the Witt standard as a way to change application of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” for the entire military, even though the ruling is technically only binding in the 9th Circuit.

But Nix said SLDN doesn’t view a relaxation of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” under Witt as a more humane application of the law.

“SLDN believes the [Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’] law is unconstitutional and inherently inhumane,” he said. “There is no way to apply it to make it constitutional. Congress must repeal the law.”

Still, Nix identified a number of options for greater flexibility under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” until Congress repeals the law.

The Defense Department, Nix said, can instruct services conducting investigations under the law to follow several guidelines, such as requiring the allegation of homosexuality to come from another service member and not a civilian or an anonymous tipster.

Nix also said the Pentagon could change application of the law so that hearsay couldn’t support an inquiry; only homosexual conduct after joining the armed forces would be eligible for investigation and statements made to chaplains, doctors, psychologists or other health professionals couldn’t be used as a basis for inquiry.

October 22, 2009

Men that voted for McCain were not able to get it up that night.

Republican men nationwide may have experienced a drop in testosterone levels the night Barack Obama was elected president, according to the results of a small study that found another link between testosterone and men's moods.


Low testosterone levels in men are linked to increased risk of premature death.
By taking multiple saliva samples from 183 young men and women on election night, researchers found that the testosterone levels of men who voted for John McCain or Robert Barr dropped sharply 40 minutes after Obama was announced the winner.

The testosterone levels of men who voted for Obama stayed the same throughout the evening. This could be significant because testosterone levels normally rise and fall throughout the day.

The study, published in in PLOS One, is one of many that indicates a link between men's moods and testosterone, although which causes which is not clear.

Women who voted for a losing candidate did not show a similar drop in testosterone, although in a questionnaire prepared by the researchers they reported feelings of unhappiness, of being controlled and feeling submissive similar to those remarked by men who voted for a losing candidate.

Clossetted Gay Gov. Charlie Christ sells his soul to the Unchristian right!

Crist to Headline Christian Fund-raiser

Florida governor Charlie Crist, a frequent subject of gay rumors, will headline a right-wing Christian fund-raiser next month as he seeks to outmaneuver Marco Rubio, his more conservative opponent for the U.S. Senate nomination in 2010.

According to the St. Petersburg Times,Crist will address an audience that supported Amendment 2, which last year wrote a ban on same-sex marriage and equivalent unions into Florida's constitution.

“Crist will headline the Christian Family Coalition's annual gala on Nov. 13 in Miami,” the Times reported. “The group opposed Miami Dade's registry of same-sex partners and advocated the constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.”

The flirtation with the religious right represents a change in tone for Crist, previously described as more of a moderate, according to the Times.

“Crist's appointments of Ricky L. Polston and Charles Canady to the Florida Supreme Court last year were both heavily backed by the religious right," the paper reported. "But he campaigned in 2006 as a moderate who didn't crusade against abortion, gay civil unions or embryonic stem cell research.
By Julie Bolcer

Ewan McGregor with his tongue inside a man's mouth. Just a friendly kIsS


Ewan McGregor was spotted greeting a man with a kiss yesterday in New York. A friendly kiss.

However, he's not opposed to the more intimate kind. The L.A. Times recently asked McGregor if he thinks America is ready for his prison romance film I Love You Phillip Morris.

Said McGregor: "It seemed to go down very well there at Sundance. It's a love story, an escape movie and a comedy, all about this man who goes to incredible lengths to be with the man he loves. I like it because it's a gay film, which is to say it's a film about two men in love, and I think that's an important element of it. But it's not a film about them being gay. They just happen to be gay. I also got to French kiss Jim Carrey a lot, and I quite like that too."

That film is due out in February.

October 20, 2009

Mob hit man out of the closet: Robert Mormando is gay

Mob hit man out of the closet: Robert Mormando is gay and regrets life of crime, his lawyer says

BY JOHN MARZULLI
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Tuesday, October 20th 2009, 4:00 AM

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Juror released from Gotti trial amid fears over near-accident wasn't accident
Mob hit man Robert Mormando stunned a veteran Brooklyn judge Monday when he renounced his membership in La Cosa Nostra and - for good measure - acknowledged he was gay.

"That's the first time I've heard this in court," Federal Judge Jack Weinstein said of the mobster's renunciation of his blood oath.

"I've asked many Mafia members and they've always refused," added Weinstein who was appointed to the bench in 1967 by President Lyndon Johnson.

Mormando, 44, a divorced father of two sons, was being sentenced for participating in the shooting of Queens bagel store owner Angelo Mugnolo, who was wounded in the driveway of his Howard Beach home in 2003

The rubout was ordered by Vincent Gotti, the younger brother of late crime boss John Gotti, who suspected the baker was fooling around with his wife.

Mormando became a government informant shortly after the shooting. He did not have have to testify against accomplices Vincent Gotti, his nephew Richard Gotti and Angelo Ruggiero Jr., because they pleaded guilty to murder conspiracy charges last year.

Sources said Mormando's cooperation was kept a closely guarded secret until he came out Monday.

The court calendar did not identify him by name and he was referred to as "John Doe" throughout the proceeding.

Defense lawyer Nancy Ennis told the judge Mormando was given the contract a month after he was inducted into the crime family in 2002.

"He was summoned to perform an act that he found totally unacceptable afterward," Ennis said.

"He did follow through, but he found the incident to be so disagreeable shortly after that he started having strong thoughts about leaving the mob.

"He was living in hiding, not from law enforcement, but from La Cosa Nostra."

Ennis' biggest bombshell was announcing that Mormando is out of the closet.

"He has been openly gay since he left the mob," Ennis said.

Mormando's partner has refused to enter the witness protection program, but they have relocated and together they "live a peaceful working life," she said.

Members of the Mafia do not accept a gay lifestyle within its ranks although there is no specific rule that inductees must accept, like the prohibition from having an affair with another gangster's wife.

Former DeCavalcante crime boss John D'Amato was whacked in 1992 for being gay.

A burly gay hit man named Vito Arena was a member of the murderous Roy DeMeo crew. He, too, became a mob informant, but he returned to a life of a crime and was shot dead in a botched armed robbery.

In any event, Weinstein was more interested in asking Mormando what attracted him to the mob.

"As a young kid growing up in Ozone Park, John Gotti was a hero," Mormando explained. "He had cars. Power. I regret that now."

Weinstein asked: "Are you publicly willing to resign that organization?"

"Yes your honor, I already have," Mormando said.

The former wiseguy was sentenced to time served - which was no time at all. He faced up to 17 years in prison.

jmarzulli@nydailynews.com

October 19, 2009

What's the Proper Punishment for the Parents of 'Balloon Boy'?

SHARE: You know the sick, panicked fear that your child may be in danger? I'm not sure the parents of "balloon boy'' do.

They claimed their 6-year-old was stuck on a hot-air balloon floating across Colorado last week. But the only physical danger he was ever in? The risk of being stampeded by cameramen waved in by his shameless father -- a storm-chaser so high on the crack of national attention that after his 15 minutes on the show "Wife Swap" elapsed, he pretended his son had been carried away like the Wizard of Oz. (Apparently, the stunt was intended to help the dad close the deal on a reality show pitch that would have presented him as a mad scientist. At least that part is believable.)

On Sunday, the sheriff who had been defending the couple – because who would pretend their kid might have died just to get a little drama going? -- said he'd concluded that the whole thing was a publicity stunt. Criminal charges, he said, may include conspiracy and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. But what kind of punishment would fit this particular crime?

Given that local law enforcement already wasted an ocean of adrenaline on these people, and spent big bucks on a rescue effort that ruined a local farmer's wheat crop and shut down Denver International Airport for several hours, I'm not so sure about throwing away more money on prosecution or incarceration. One story mentioned a fine of as much as $500,000; good luck collecting that.

After all they've been through with this family, I give the authorities huge credit for encouraging the child's mom to get out of the situation, though she's turned them down, at least for now. And maybe the worst of it is that it's hard to think of a penalty for the parent that wouldn't further traumatize the child, who has presumably already been sentenced to another dozen years or so with his lunatic father, who will go unnamed here: Take that, oh Munchausen by proxy syndrome sufferer of the reality TV age.

Judge refuses to dismiss gay marriage ban suit He asks lawyers to show how gay unions pose threat to traditional ones

SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge challenged the backers of California's voter-enacted ban on same-sex marriage Wednesday to explain how allowing gay couples to wed threatens conventional unions, a demand that prompted their lawyer to acknowledge he did not know.

The unusual exchange between U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker and Charles Cooper, a lawyer for the group that sponsored Proposition 8, came during a hearing on a lawsuit challenging the measure as discriminatory under the U.S. Constitution.

Cooper had asked Walker to throw out the suit or make it more difficult for those civil rightsclaims to prevail.

The judge not only refused but signaled that when the case goes to trial in January, he expects Cooper and his legal team to present evidence showing that male-female marriages would be undermined if same-sex marriages were legal.

‘Naturally procreative relationships’
The question is relevant to the assertion that Proposition 8 is constitutionally valid because it furthers the states goal of fostering "naturally procreative relationships," Walker explained.

"What is the harm to the procreation purpose you outlined of allowing same-sex couples to get married?" Walker asked.

"My answer is, I don't know. I don't know," Cooper answered.

Moment later, after assuring the judge his response did not mean Proposition 8 was doomed to be struck down, Cooper tried to clarify his position. The relevant question was not whether there is proof that same-sex unions jeopardize marriages between men and women, but whether "the state is entitled, when dealing with radical proposals to make changes to bedrock institutions such as this ... to take a wait and see attitude," he said.

"There are things we can't know, that's my point," Cooper said. "The people of California are entitled to step back and let the experiment unfold in Massachusetts and other places, to see whether our concerns about the health of marital unions have either been confirmed or perhaps they have been completely assuaged."

Walker pressed on, asking again for specific "adverse consequences" that could follow expanding marriage to include same-sex couples. Cooper cited a study from the Netherlands, where gay marriage is legal, showing that straight couples were increasingly opting to become domestic partners instead of getting married.

"Has that been harmful to children in the Netherlands? What is the adverse effect?" Walker asked.

‘Proof of no harm?’
Cooper said he did not have the facts at hand.

"But it is not self-evident that there is no chance of any harm, and the people of California are entitled not to take the risk," he said.

"Since when do Constitutional rights rest on the proof of no harm?" Walker parried, adding the First Amendment right to free speech protects activities that many find offensive, "but we tolerate those in a free society."

Walker made clear that he wants to examine other issues that are part of the political rhetoric surrounding same-sex marriage but rarely surface in courtrooms. Among the questions he plans to entertain at the trial are whether sexual orientation is a fixed or immutable characteristic, whether gays are a politically powerful group, and if same-sex marriage bans such as Proposition 8 were motivated by anti-gay bias.

The lawsuit over which Walker is presiding was brought by two unmarried same-sex couples. They have since been joined by lawyers for the city of San Francisco.

Attorney General Jerry Brown, who was named as a defendant, has taken the rare step of agreeing with the plaintiffs instead of arguing to uphold the voter-approved law.

In allowing the case to move forward, Walker said significant questions remain about whether the California measure, which was approved by 52 percent of voters in November, unlawfully violates the rights of gays and lesbians to equality and due process guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. The measure overturned a state Supreme Court ruling earlier in the year that legalized same-sex marriages
(msnbc)

Twitter: Don't change your log-in data until further notice

by Juan Carlos Perez, IDG News Service

Twitter users should refrain from changing their log-in data until further notice or else risk getting locked out of their accounts.


Until the problem is resolved, Twitter users shouldn’t modify their log-in data, according to an official posting on Twitter’s Status Web site.

“This seems to affect new users as well as long term users,” the note reads.

Users first started reporting the problem late last week, according to messages posted on the site’s Known Issues section.

Twitter has made the fixing of this problem a top priority, and at the moment believes the cause might be a caching bug somewhere in its systems, according to information on the Known Issues page.

This is the latest technical hiccup that has affected Twitter in recent days. On Monday, the company acknowledged that the site experienced increased system errors and that users had trouble authoring and posting messages. The latter issue apparently remains outstanding. Last week, a bug caused a delay of several hours in updates to users’ message streams.

Twitter, a social network and microblogging site, has become tremendously popular among individuals and organizations since its launch in March 2006, but along the way has earned a reputation for having wobbly performance and uptime.

Twitter experienced lengthy and frequent system outages in 2007 and during the first half of 2008, but since then the situation has improved.

Twitter ended 2008 with 84 hours of downtime, which gave it an uptime frequency of 99.04 percent, the worst among 15 major social-networking services reviewed by Web monitoring company Pingdom.

At Twitter, individuals provide real-time updates about themselves, while organizations use it as a marketing tool. Twitter messages can’t be longer than 140 characters.

Why does Face Book needs to know??

Be aware that quizzes are revealing
For many users, one of the primary attractions of Facebook is the virtually endless selection of games and quizzes. Part of the lure of the games and quizzes is the social aspect. In the games, friends can compete against one another; through the quizzes, you can learn more about your friends while being briefly entertained.

The ACLU exposed problems with how much information these quizzes and games share, though. When a Facebook user initiates a game or quiz, typically a notice pops up to declare that interacting with the application requires opening access to information; the notice also provides the user the opportunity to opt out and cancel, or to allow the access to continue.

The permission page clearly tells the user up front that allowing “access will let [the application] pull your profile information, photos, your friends’ info, and other content that it requires to work.” One might wonder, as the ACLU has, why any game or quiz application would “require” access to your friends’ information in order to work.

IRISH HURLER DONAL OG CUSACK: 'I'M GAY'



I

Donal Og Cusack, a legendary Irish goalkeeper in the Gaelic sport of hurling, has come out of the closet in a new biography, the Belfast Telegraph reports:

"The player has lifted the lid off his bisexual past in a candid story of his life that makes him the first ever senior GAA star to publicly declare his homosexuality. The Cork hurler from the small village of Cloyne is a legend in GAA circles after winning three All-Ireland finals. Yet in what may shock the sporting establishment, he admits to sleeping with both women and men before accepting his sexuality as a gay man in his autobiography Come What May published by Penguin Ireland and due out this month. In an honest and down-to-earth account of his life as one of the GAA's most high-profile players, he reveals how he tried to date women as a young man even though he knew from the age of 13 or 14 'that I was a bit different'. 'I tried to go out with women to make sure, to see what kind of feeling it gave me,' he writes.' I went out with nice women and good women, but sure, I still knew. I wanted something else. I get more out of men. I just do. Always have. I know I am different but just in this way. Whatever you may feel about me or who I am, I've always been at peace with it,' he said

Two Democratic Senators Refuse to Support DOMA repeal

The message from Democrats (including openly gay Rep. Barney Frank) is that the 111th Congress will pass trans-inclusive hate crimes and employment non-discrimination legislation, will pass domestic partner benefits for federal employees, and will repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell. All this if we're lucky.

Noticeably absent from this civil rights agenda is the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act. Apparently a Democratic majority in the House, a Democratic super-majority in the Senate, and a Democratic president in the White House isn't quite enough to get a repeal passed. Of course, other major issues are confronting the nation, and issues dealing with same-sex marriage often bring with them volatile politics. But, with the prospect of trimmed Democratic majorities in Congress after the 2010 midterm elections, is it really unreasonable for the LGBT community to expect action on DOMA now, as opposed to potentially a decade from now, maybe later?

The national mood seems favorable to a DOMA repeal. A majority of Americans support civil unions for same-sex couples and a DOMA repeal deals primarily with granting civil rights to already-married same-sex couples, not with creating new marriage designations. And with same-sex marriage sweeping New England and even becoming legal in Iowa, the momentum and the need for federal rights for married same-sex couples has never been greater. This is especially true as Washington, DC, New York, and New Jersey seem poised to legalize same-sex marriage before year's end.

President Obama has spoken of his commitment to repeal DOMA, but he has not given any timelines for how or when this will happen. In Congress, a DOMA repeal was introduced in the House in mid-September with many, including Rep. Frank, expressing skepticism that Congress had the votes to pass it. The repeal bill does have the support of the two other openly gay members of Congress, Rep. Tammy Baldwin and Rep. Jared Polis - both are signed on as cosponsors.

Whether or not a DOMA repeal passes in this legislative session (i.e. before the 2010 midterm elections) is going to be up to the LGBT community and its allies and the pressure they are able to exert on President Obama and Congress. The House bill to repeal DOMA has 101 cosponsors to date (Rep. Jerrold Nadler introduced the bill). The rest of the Democrats in the House are silent on the issue. No bill has been introduced in the Senate and this is the pathetic support we get from Democrats there...
by: Dable post

A Dick is not enough to get you Laid By A Gay Man

A Dick Is Not Enough To Get You Laid By A Gay Man
*****************************************************
I'm a little late to this one but I could not leave it alone. Last week on Mad Man, Salvatore was fired because he refused to sleep with Lee Gardner Jr., the son of the owner of lucky strikes. Salvatore is married and is very deeply in the closet. Considering that Mad Men takes place in the 1960’s, it is fair to say that this was a fairly common occurrence for that period. Don seemed to imply that Salvatore should heave considered the large account and just slept with Lee. After all, the man has a dick and isn’t that all gay men want? He even had the nerve to refer to Sal as “you people”. Though this show is set in the 60’s, this attitude is still alive and well today. The construction of all gay men as solely seeking sex and not a loving connection with another human being, is just one of the ways in which they are constructed as “other.” Even though many are engaged in the struggle for same sex marriage, the construction of the promiscuous gay man is alive and well.

Balloon boys rap anti gay slurs

Balloon Boy, Brothers Rap Antigay Slurs

By Advocate.com Editors

The news just keeps getting worse for the Heene family, better known now to the world as the family behind the balloon scandal.

On the heels of news the Heene parents will face charges for what has now been deemed a “hoax” –- the Denver sheriff’s department says the Heenes “manipulated authorities and media into believing their son had flown away in a balloon (he was later found hiding in the attic) -- comes this video, shot just after the Heenes appeared on Wife Swap.

In the video, the Heene boys rap about the "pussification" of men and frequently use the word “faggot.” At about the 2 minute and 50 second mark, one of the boys talks about throwing a rock at a “faggot” in a tree.

October 18, 2009

For the first time some one has written my feelings without meeting me. Why Im no longer a Christian

Why should you care in the slightest about my religious views?

I cannot possibly imagine.

Several people on topix, though, in the wake of various postings I’ve made on religious subjects, have asked me for an explanation of just how I arrived at my present agnosticism, or atheism, or whatever it is. So rather than answering these various people individually I’ve elected to start this forum and direct the interested parties here.

What follows is nothing more or less than a summary of my personal experiences as a Christian, related about as honestly as I know how to do it. I’m not hoping for contributions, followers, or enlightenment, and I don’t claim it to be momentous or universal or significant to anyone but me. But it is genuine.

Dearth of Couth

Why I’m no longer a Christian, Part One

I was raised from my infancy by deeply religious people, surrounded by a family full of Baptist preachers, deacons and missionaries. I myself was baptized, as well as I can recall, at about the age of ten.

I can remember being struck by the fact that everyone around me at the time – and I do mean everyone – kept telling me that what I had just experienced was the most important event of my life, and that everything else I would ever do would shrink to insignificance alongside it. I was receiving the power of the Lord. It was a special time for me.

Well, I enjoyed all the attention, as any kid would, but I remember wondering: Why don’t I feel any different, myself? I thought about my attitudes, my perceptions, the circumstances of my life, and I couldn’t think of a single thing that was any different, now that I was one with Jesus. No matter how hard I tried to find something new and meaningful, there was nothing. It was a hollow, empty, and lonely sensation, and surprisingly so. It was not what I had expected at all.

I concluded after a time that I must not be doing something right. Everyone around me seemed so confident and secure in their faith and mine so tenuous in comparison, I felt left out. The shortcoming, I decided, must be mine. I must be missing something.

I resolved to try harder. I devoted myself to Bible study and prayer. I sensed that everyone around me would be horrified if I were to express any of these reservations I was feeling, so I kept them to myself. I suppressed them, and did my best to forget them altogether.

The years went by and I attended services regularly but somehow I never quite shook the uneasy sense, in the back of my mind, that I had never truly felt the presence of a transcendent being – Jesus, God, or anyone at all.

I remained outwardly compliant, but inwardly I began to feel isolated and as much as I tried to banish this feeling, it persisted. As I reached adulthood it intensified until I became aware that, despite my best efforts, it was not going to go way. More troubling still was the bulk of doubts I began to feel about matters of doctrine. I began to doubt, among many other things, the true value of grace.

But I tried to put these issues out of my mind. What I was doing, of course, was not avoiding a crisis but merely postponing it When it finally arrived it hit so suddenly, it startled me.
DearthOfCouth
“What do I know?”

Why I’m no longer a Christian, Part Two

I mentioned my doubts about the value of grace. Let me try to explain:

I learned early on that I, as a rather perceptive and articulate kid, wielded the power of language. I was able to wound someone deeply with a well-timed and chosen, derisive remark. I’m ashamed to say that I flung these about, at an early stage of my life, freely and easily. These thoughtless barbs of mine were the cause of a lot of needless pain. I believe they were the greatest sins of my commission, ever.

I was assured that my sins were forgiven me but I became aware after a time that the targets of my derision, once hurt or offended, remained hurt or offended for a very long time. Jesus’ forgiveness of me, I noted, made no difference at all to the people I had hurt. Things changed for me as I approached adulthood and began to feel genuine empathy for other people. In time I came to feel an element of real remorse for the thoughtlessness of my adolescence, and when I felt these regrets – I still feel them today -- I realized that Jesus’ grace made no real difference to me, either.

Grace was like the presence of God; everyone said it was real. But no matter how I tried, I was not able to feel it myself.

My crisis arrived one day at a church prayer service when the minister asked us all to recall our thoughts and feelings on the day we were saved. Surely we remembered the day vividly. It was the most important day of our lives.

People around me began standing, one at a time, and giving witness. The recurring phrase, as I recall it, was “the weight of mountains off my shoulders.” I sat there in my pew and reflected in private silence over the vague, unfulfilled void I had experienced in the wake of my own baptism, by this time some ten years in the past.

The minister went on to inform us that we, as the committed Christians we were, ought still to enjoy that same exultant, liberated feeling today. Didn’t we?

Again the witnessing from the pews around me, everyone standing in turn to give solemn testimony that they did indeed feel the power of Jesus in their lives, each and every day. It was profound, they said. It was moving. They were touched, one and all, to the very core of their existence and the strength of their inspiration did not dissipate as time elapsed, but rather grew stronger.

It went on this way. I turned this way and that to listen as the faithful on all sides of me rose and gave vivid testimony. The passion of Jesus, apparently, was with everyone in the assembly. Except me.
DearthOfCouth
“What do I know?”


Why I’m no longer a Christian, Part Three

Then it hit me: We were moving around the congregation as if someone were taking role, and we were not leaving anyone out. More and more of them had begun to turn their attention toward me, wide-eyed and expectant. Any minute now it was going to be my turn and I would be expected to offer my personal testimony. What was I going to say?

My options, it seemed to me, were as follows:

1. Come clean with everyone and confess my innermost doubts, to admit that I had searched diligently but in vain over the years for some evidence of an impact that Jesus had had upon my life. Or
2. Make something up. I could, I was certain, blather something about a luminous presence, something affecting every aspect of my life and making it better. In short, I could lie.
Lying seemed the easiest solution, and it tempted me. But it occurred to me – to whom would I be lying? Jesus? Am I honestly contemplating an attempt to con Jesus?

Then I thought, Who is it that I’ve been deceiving for the last ten years with this elaborate pretense, sitting here in this church? Who am I fooling? Jesus? God? My family? The congregation?

Myself?

The witnessing continued and the population of remaining, un-testified Christians was dwindling by the minute. I was going to have to reach a decision and very soon. I sensed that the choice I was about to make was going to influence the rest of my life, and I was at once relieved and energized to have reached a culmination and resentful that I was being compelled to reach it hurriedly, in a public forum.

My time was running out. What was I going to do?
DearthOfCouth
“What do I know?”


Why I’m no longer a Christian, Part Four

Finally, struggling with my private predicament in that pew during prayer service, I knew what it was that I had to do. I came to the realization that there was only one possible course of action that seemed to offer me any degree of self-respect, and there was no other course to take, so at long last I took it. I stood and walked out.

I did not look anyone in the eye as I passed and I have no idea whether anyone registered surprise, hostility, concern, or anything at all. For all I know they all faced forward and ignored me as I turned left at the end of the aisle and made my final exit from the building. The moment I reached the open air outside I was astonished to find that I was finally, after all this time, experiencing something that was vivid and genuine and undeniable. In fact it was nearly overpowering. It crested over me like a breaker:

Relief.

From now on, I resolved that day, I will not stop and examine my innermost thoughts and evaluate, whether they are appropriately reverent and sanctimonious. I will admit my doubts and reservations and when people ask me for my thoughts I will express them respectfully but openly, as I am doing now.

If everyone around me seems confident and secure where I am irresolute and sceptical then I decline to acknowledge this as a problem, for me or for anyone else. That’s just the way it is.

Leaving the prayer meeting that day was a liberating, exhilarating, and truly life-changing experience for me. It was my “baptism” and I will never forget it.

I’m free.

If I have to account someday for the decisions I’ve made and the actions I’ve taken, then I will. But I won’t again lie to anyone that I’m feeling something or sensing something when I’m not. I won’t try to deceive anyone around me but most importantly I won’t lie to myself. Life is too short to waste it that way.

iDoesn't

Verizon starts anti "iDevice" campaign, vows Palm Pre
updated 02:50 pm EDT, Sat October 17, 2009Verizon ad campaign to attack Apple

Verizon today sent signals that it's about to launch an aggressive campaign against Apple through a combination of marketing and devices. A leaked note regarding an upcoming ad series, nicknamed "iDoesn't," specifically targets the "iDevice" and will allegedly focus on all the features the iPhone doesn't have. The details Engadget sees are vague regarding the ads themselves but do mention that Verizon will keep branding to a minimum.
The first of the ads is due to play during the imminent Angels/Yankees baseball game, which begins at 8PM Eastern this evening, but should see heavy airplay during NFL games on Sunday and is likely to continue past that point. It promises that "big things" will come in November to take advantage of the campaign.

It's likely that the campaign is meant to steer customers towards a wave of major smartphone introductions at Verizon that will include the BlackBerry Storm2, the Android-based HTC Desire and the already publicized HTC Omnia II. All three are running smartphone platforms that have similar features to iPhones, but with multitasking and typically less restricted app catalogs. Verizon has stressed that its approach to Android won't overly limit apps and should allow Google Voice among other software Apple and AT&T have sometimes sought to ban on the iPhone.

Verizon has had a relatively poor history of marketing against Apple and on the iPhone's June 2007 launch day chiefly reiterated its variety of phones rather than any one "halo" device to lure users. The original BlackBerry Storm was also trumpeted as an iPhone rival one year ago but, aside from an initial rush of buyers, has sold relatively slowly since October 2008.

Alongside the existing smartphone push, Verizon on Friday also reiterated in a Twitter update that it plans to carry the Palm Pre "early next year." The company has in the past publicly expressed a desire to carry the multi-touch webOS phone once Sprint's US exclusive ends but until today hasn't publicly committed itself to the smartphone until now. It's so far assumed to be a functionally identical version but hasn't received more definitive release details.

October 17, 2009

HEY KID YOU'D BETTER MAKE THAT PLEDGE!!!Why not? because of GaYs??

Hey, kid, you'd better make that pledge


JOHN BRUMMETT

There's a 10-year-old lad, a fifth-grader at West Fork Elementary, who decided he wasn't going to say the Pledge of Allegiance at school anymore because there was no liberty or justice for all in America, as the pledge's rote recitation asserts.

He'd concluded that gay people didn't get equal justice or liberty in this country and that he was loath to mouth something suggesting they did.

That is to say the boy was thoughtful, sensitive, courageous and free.

So his class had a substitute teacher who bugged the boy for not standing. She told him he ought to get up and say the pledge.

The youngster didn't care for being nagged, and he snapped. He told the substitute teacher to go jump off a bridge.

Then the substitute teacher sent him to the office where the principal did not coerce or punish him in regard to the pledge, but did assign him, on account of his sassing the teacher, to do a report on the history of the pledge and the symbolism of the flag.

Let me help the youngster.

The Pledge of Allegiance was cooked up by a Baptist fellow in 1892 and subsequently promoted in youth publications for recitation by school children. It is, of course, not anything our founders envisioned and is, in fact, kind of antithetical to our very principle of constitutionally guaranteed liberty.

You cannot force somebody to promise fealty in this gloriously free country.

Having our little kids stand up in public school and salute a piece of cloth to vow faithfulness to their nation is harmless in nearly all cases, like a rhythmic and memorized child's prayer before meals or at bedtime.

But a mass forced pledging of nationalistic allegiance is, when you really think about it, a perversion of the greater notion that we love and support our country by our own choice for the very freedoms it grants us, including the one not to have to spew officially required words or mantras or chants.

I'm not saying we need to stop the rote practice each morning in our schools. I'm just saying we should leave a 10-year-old alone if he doesn't participate.

I am proud of the free-thinking young man. I am pleased that the principal did not discipline him for free thinking, but for his ill-advised request that the substitute teacher take a long walk off a short bridge. And I forgive the substitute teacher, who, after all, was but a substitute. Goodness knows that substitute teachers often walk into difficult situations.

Actually, I've been pondering an all-American compromise. The boy could stand up and say his own freely expressed pledge.

Rather than pledge allegiance to the flag and to the republic for which it stands, he might say, "I offer my voluntary loving support for my free country and the republic for which this flag stands."

Rather than say "one nation under God, indivisible," he could say, "one nation, not subject to anyone's forced religion, and where the right-wing Texas governor was free even to intimate his state's secession."

Rather than say "with liberty and justice for all," he could say, "with liberty and justice for most people, but, sadly as yet, not gays or lesbians."

That ought to satisfy everybody.

John Brummett is a columnist for the Arkansas News Bureau in Little Rock.

October 14, 2009

If God wanted me to accepting of gays...

If God Had Wanted Me To Be Accepting Of Gays, He Would Have Given Me The Warmth And Compassion ...
Full story: www.theonion.com
I don't question God. The Lord is my Shepherd and I shall put none above Him. Which is why I know that if it were part of God's plan for me to stop viciously condemning others based solely on their sexual preference, He would have seen fit - in His infinite wisdom and all - to have given me the tiniest bit of human empathy necessary to do so.

Absolutely Disgraceful


Rachel Maddow reports on Decorated Lt. Colonel Victor Fehrenbach, an F-15 fighter pilot and 18-year veteran of the Air Force. He is ready to deply again, but the military is firing him under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", two years short of being able to retire with full pension benefits.

Servicemember's Legal Deffense Network executive director Aubrey Sarvis writes: "Lieutenant Colonel Victor J. Fehrenbach, a fighter weapons systems officer, has been flying the F-15E Strike Eagle since 1998. He has flown numerous missions against Taliban and al-Qaida targets, including the longest combat mission in his squadron's history. On that infamous September 11, 2001, Lt. Col. Fehrenbach was handpicked to fly sorties above the nation's capital. Later he flew combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has received at least 30 awards and decorations including nine air medals, one of them for heroism, as well as campaign medals for Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. He is now a flight instructor in Idaho, where he has passed on his skills to more than 300 future Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force weapons systems officers. Since 1987, when Fehrenbach entered Notre Dame on a full Air Force ROTC scholarship, the government has invested twenty-five million dollars in training and equipping him to serve his country, which he has done with what anyone would agree was great distinction. He comes from a military family. His father was a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, his mother an Air Force nurse and captain. Lt. Col. Fehrenbach has honored that tradition."

A $25 million dollar investment. The military is throwing it away over his sexuality.

Said Fehrenbach to Maddow: "About 4,000 people are assigned to Mountain Home Air Force Base, and only about 10 people on the entire base even knew of my case up until this very moment. Those were my immediate chain of command, a couple of attorneys in the legal office, and a couple of officers in the Office of Special Investigations. Not one single person that I'm assigned with in my squadron, or that I fly with in my fighter squadron, knew about this case until this moment."

Absolutely disgraceful.

October 13, 2009

Put your hand on the hand of................



Footballer Cristiano Ronaldo will replace David Beckham at Emporio Armani:

"The Portuguese star will model the brand's spring and summer collection in 2010 after being named as the face and body of the company. Becoming the 'new official ambassador' for the company, the world's most expensive football player will don jeans and underwear in advertising campaigns. Beckham was affiliated with Armani from 2007, but has relinquished the role after moving on to create his own range of underwear."

Above, a shot of Ronaldo modeling some underwear after qualifying for the FIFA World Cup in 2006. That's coach Luiz Felipe Scolari giving him a hand

October 9, 2009

The time is right for gay rights, if not, wait 10 years

Federal official says time is right for gay rights



By MIKE SCHNEIDER, Associated Press Writer – Fri Oct 9, 4:00 pm ET
ORLANDO, Fla. – The climate for passing gay civil rights laws has never been better, but it could be a decade before another chance comes around, the highest-ranking openly gay official in the Obama administration said Friday.
"This is the best opportunity we will ever have as a community and shame on us if we don't succeed," said John Berry, director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
A House vote Thursday put Congress on the verge of significantly expanding hate crimes law to make it a federal crime to assault people because of their sexual orientation. Later this year, Congress is expected to hold hearings on a measure prohibiting workplace discrimination — including decisions about hiring, firing and wages — based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
"The clock is against us," Berry said in a speech at the Out & Equal Workplace Advocates conference in Orlando. "If we lose this, it could be years if not a decade before this opportunity comes around."
He said a political climate like the current one — with the president, Congress and public opinion open to passing gay rights legislation — may not come again for a long time.
Berry oversees the agency that manages the federal government's workplace. His speech at the Orlando conference came a day before President Barack Obama was set to address the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay rights group.
Obama has taken a cautious approach to following through with campaign promises to end a ban on gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military and pushing tough nondiscrimination policies. But Berry said Obama was "clear in his support for our community and his commitment to full equality."

Chow down and loose weight...the natural way!!!!

8 Foods That Fight Fat
SELF.com
By Lucy Danziger, SELF Editor-in-Chief - Posted on Thu, Oct 08, 2009, 3:32 pm PDT
Happier, Healthier You
by Lucy Danziger
Want to lose weight as you chow down? Your wish is granted! (I promise, this is no fairy tale.) Your supermarket is filled with foods that studies show have lipid-melting powers to help melt fat and keep you slim. Stock up on these fat-fighting super bites, and you'll be trimmer even as you indulge. Read on to discover the eight foods that deserve a permanent spot in your fridge—and in your diet!

Almonds These yummy nuts are high in alpha-linolenic acid, which can accelerate your metabolism of fats. In fact, dieters who ate 3 ounces of almonds daily slashed their weight and body-mass index by 18 percent, while those who skipped the nuts reduced both numbers less— just 11 percent—a study in the International Journal of Obesity revealed. Chomp almonds à la carte (limit yourself to 12 per serving to keep calories in check). I get a pack at Starbucks and nibble throughout my day. Or sprinkle them into a recipe such as Black Bean–Almond Pesto Chicken. Go nuts!

Berries I tell my daughter, "These are nature's candy!" Turns out they're also your body's best friends. Strawberries, raspberries and other vitamin C–spiked fruit can supercharge your workout, helping you burn up to 30 percent more fat, research from Arizona State University at Mesa has found. If they're not in season, buy the little gems frozen in a bulk-sized bag so you'll always have them on hand to whip up a Berry Bliss Smoothie or Strawberry-Sunflower Pops, regardless of whether berries are in season.

Cinnamon Adding 1/4 teaspoon to your plate may prevent an insulin spike—an uptick that tells your body to store fat. Sprinkle it on your morning cereal or coffee or on your yogurt in the A.M., or savor it in Apple-Cinnamon-Raisin Oatmeal.

Mustard It's heaven on a soft pretzel, but mustard may also be a weight loss wonder. Turmeric, the spice that gives mustard its color, may slow the growth of fat tissues, a study in the journal Endocrinology finds. Use it on sandwiches instead of mayo, or sprinkle turmeric on cauliflower pre-roasting to give it a kick. Try it on tuna salad—I promise it adds zest.

Oranges This citrus fruit, which contains fat-blasting compounds known as flavones, deserves to be your main squeeze. Women who ate the most flavones had a much lower increase in body fat over a 14-year period, a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition notes. Eat oranges sliced or swig fresh OJ (including pulp!) to get the best benefit from the fruit.

Soybeans Reason to toss a half cup on your salad? Soybeans are rich in choline, a compound that blocks the absorption of fat and breaks down fatty deposits. Oh, and they're addictively delish! But if breast cancer runs in your family, experts suggest you should talk to your doc before adding soy to your diet.

Sweet potatoes The colorful spuds' high-fiber content means they keep your insulin steadier than their white sisters, which means less fat packed on your hips, research finds. Top a small baked tater with lowfat cottage cheese for a tempting side dish, or whip up Miso Soup With Sweet Potato Dumplings.

Swiss cheese Calcium-rich foods reduce fat-producing enzymes and increase fat breakdown, and Swiss has more calcium than many of its cheesy peers. Choose the reduced-fat variety, such as Sargento. Slip it into your sandwich, put it on top of high-fiber crackers or use it for a healthier grilled cheese. Yum!

October 6, 2009

FACEBOOK scam GROWING

Facebook imposter scam a growing concern
Posted: Tuesday, October 6 2009 at 07:15 am CT by Bob Sullivan
On the Web, it’s not always easy to know who your friends are. Mistakes in judgment can be very costly.

Internet imposters are perfecting the technique of impersonating friends on social networking sites like Facebook, with lucrative results. Victims are losing thousands of dollars. Emotional e-mail pleas sent by imposters, such as “I’m stuck in London and I’ve been robbed, help me,” have become so effective that the FBI last week issued a warning to consumers about social networking sites.

“Fraudsters continue to hijack accounts on social networking sites and spread malicious software by using various techniques,” the warning said. The agency says it has logged 3,200 complaints about such incidents since it began keeping track.


And Facebook responded to increased scam activity by posting a blog entry last week saying it is “redoubling our efforts to combat the scam” and detailing steps the firm is making to beef up security.

“Our security team is working with law enforcement and collaborating with email providers and other industry experts to identify and catch the criminals responsible,” the post said. “Western Union also is working closely with law enforcement on scams such as this one.”

Msnbc.com first brought you the story of Facebook ID theft in January. Brian Rutberg of Seattle had his status changed by a hacker to “BRYAN IS IN URGENT NEED OF HELP!!” The criminal then sent notes to all his friends, claiming that Rutberg’s family had been mugged while traveling in London, and was in desperate need of cash. One concerned friend followed the criminal’s instructions and wired $1,200 to London before realizing the error. The money could not be recovered.

Then in August, we updated the story, describing Colorado resident Susie McLain and her ordeal with Facebook ID theft. Her phone was ringing off the hook, and her cell phone full of concerned text messages, after an imposter began asking her friends for $850, claiming McLain had been stabbed during a mugging in London.

The criminals keep honing their story, and they’ve expanded their playing field, as reported on NBC’s Today Show on Tuesday. They’ve moved beyond Facebook: Some targets are receiving imposter e-mails directly from victims’ personal e-mail accounts. When Debbie Peterson recently received what looked like a private e-mail from a family friend who needed help, she jumped at the chance. But the e-mail was a fake, and Peterson sent $3,000 to the criminal.

“It's all we had in our savings. They take the emotional part of human nature and manipulate it to their advantage," she told the Today Show.

Convincing scam
The scam works because personal e-mail and Facebook messages from friends carry with them an air of legitimacy that other Internet communication does not. Many users have wised up to so-called phishing scam e-mails that appear to come from banks or Internet companies like eBay, and no longer fall for traditional efforts to steal their passwords. But an e-mail that comes from a friend in need is hard to ignore.



In Rutberg’s case, the e-mail dialog included his Facebook photo next to each comment, making it even more believable. In the image below, an imposter tried to trick a friend into sending money. The last message is from the real Rutberg, sent after he regained control of the account.



RED TAPE WRESTLING TIPS

Consumers who’ve been hit up for cash by an e-mail or Facebook imposter should fill out a complaint with the FBI at IC3.gov.

In the meantime, here’s how to avoid being a victim,

*Never send money to an individual, even a friend, using Western Union unless you are ready to never see it again. There are no security measures in place to protect those who wire money that way, and there’s no way to recover funds send through Western Union that end up in the wrong hands.

*Don’t believe your e-mail, even if it comes from a friend. Any unexpected greeting cards, solicitations, or offers you receive should be treated with complete skepticism. Before you click, call and ask “Did you send this?”

*It’s a good idea to have two e-mail contact addresses on file with Facebook, so you have a better chance of reclaiming a hijacked account if you become a victim. Criminals who hack accounts usually change the password to lock out the rightful owner. Facebook will use the secondary e-mail in an attempt to determine the real owner of the account.

October 5, 2009

The RITZ cracker???


Lady GaGa shows off her talents as an artist - but why's she wearing the palette on her head?
By DAILY MAIL REPORTER

Lady GaGa sang to tens of thousands at Glastonbury over the weekend - and yesterday she showed she had other artistic talents.
The OTT American singer dropped in to help decorate a charity garden, and wore her most outrageous hairpiece yet.
As she painted away at Body Positive North West in Manchester, it looked as though she'd stolen one of the palettes and stuck it on her head.

Making her mark: Lady GaGa wore an elaborate hairpiece as she helped decorate a garden in Manchester for people affected by HIV
But the wacky wardrobe went down a storm with workers at the HIV charity she was supporting.
She made her mark by dawbing the message 'Love + Art + Kindness' on to a picture of a herself on a wall as excited volunteers looked on.
Her visit to the charity was organised by Orange RockCorps, which gives people a chance to earn tickets to gigs in exchange for four hours voluntary work.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1196359/Lady-GaGa-

OUTRAGE and Gov.Charlie Crist( FL) is not going to like being outed HBO 9pm

DO ASK DO TELL ON THE PEOPLE THAT ARE CHASING US...LET'S CHASE BACK! Not a good night for Florida Governor Charlie Crist tonight. Why? Outrage, the documentary by Kirby Dick about closeted politicians and the way their hypocrisy damages lives — not only their personal lives but the millions of gays and lesbians their homophobic policymaking affects, premieres tonight at 9 on HBO. The documentary spends much time focused on the sex life of Crist as he hides behind his many beards.

An official selection of the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival, OUTRAGE investigates the hidden lives of some of the country's most powerful policymakers - from now-retired Idaho Senator Larry Craig, to former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevy - and examines how these and other politicians have inflicted damage on millions of Americans by opposing gay rights. Equally disturbing, the film explores the mainstream media's complicity in keeping those secrets, despite the growing efforts to "out" them by gay rights organizations and bloggers.

Through a combination of archival news footage and exclusive interviews with politicians and members of the media, OUTRAGE probes the psychology of a double lifestyle, the ethics of outing closeted politicians, and the double standards that the media upholds in its coverage of the sex lives of gay public figures. As Barney Frank, perhaps the best-known openly gay member of Congress explains, "There is a right to privacy, but not a right to hypocrisy. It is very important that the people who make the law be subject to the law."

The film also spotlights Michael Rogers, a gay activist and founder of blogACTIVE, a Washington, D.C.-based website dedicated to outing closeted public figures. Rogers feels it is necessary to expose the hypocrisy of those who may live one way in public and another way in private, explaining that his work is not about outing people who are gay, but rather about "reporting on individuals who are working against the community that they then expect to protect them."

Kirby Dick is an award-winning documentary film director whose last release, 2006's "This Film Is Not Yet Rated," was a breakthrough investigation of the secretive MPAA film-ratings system. His 2005 HBO film "Twist of Faith" received an Oscar® nomination for Best Documentary Feature. Dick's other films include "Derrida," a portrait of the French philosopher, and "Sick: The Life & Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist," which won the Special Jury Prize at Sundance and the Grand Prize at the LA Film Festival. Among his other HBO/Cinemax credits are 2003's "Showgirls: Glitz & Angst," 2001's "Chain Camera" and 2004's "The End."

OUTRAGE was written and directed by Kirby Dick; producer, Amy Ziering; executive producers, Tom Quinn, Jason Janego, Ted Sarandos, Chad Griffin, Kimball Stroud, Bruce Brothers and Tectonic Theater Project; co-producer, Tanner Barklow; editors, Doug Blush and Matt Clarke; music, Peter Golub. For HBO: senior producer, Nancy Abraham; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.

October 1, 2009

MAD MEN star to get married

e "Mad Men" star is said planning to wed his longtime partner Tom Cianfichi this coming Christmas in Vermont, New England.

© Sophia Quach/PR Photos
Following the footsteps of some other Hollywood gay celebs, actor Bryan Batt is planning to marry his longtime same-sex partner, events planner Tom Cianfichi. A source is quoted as telling National Enquirer, the pair who has been together for more than eighteen years is planning a Christmas wedding.

"They're leaning toward a Christmas wedding in Vermont," reveals the source. "Bryan is at the top of his game professionally, and they've never been happier."

Wedding arrangements reportedly have been worked on by Bryan and Tom. They "already consider themselves married, and are registered as domestic partners in New Orleans," claims an insider. "Tom's working on the wedding arrangements, and with their combined style and taste; it's certain to be a big event. They intend to pull out all the stops."

Nevertheless, possible wedding venue and invited guests are not mentioned. Bryan himself is yet to comment on the wedding report.

On screen, Bryan Batt is best known for his role as Salvatore Romano in AMC's TV series "Mad Men". Besides, he also has some starring roles in big screen flicks in addition to starring in some Broadway plays.

PENTAGON'S Criticism of "Don't Ask."

Pentagon airs criticism of ‘don’t ask’
Journal article backs gay troops; May signal brass open to debate

By Bryan Bender
Globe Staff / September 30, 2009
E-mail|Print|Reprints|Yahoo! Buzz|ShareThis Text size – +
WASHINGTON - An article in the Pentagon’s top scholarly journal calls in unambiguous terms for lifting the ban on gays serving openly in the armed forces, arguing that the military is essentially forcing thousands of gay men and women to lead dishonest lives in an organization that emphasizes integrity as a fundamental tenet.

Pentagon airs criticism of ‘don’t ask’
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The article in the upcoming issue of Joint Force Quarterly, which is published for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was written by an Air Force colonel who studied the issue for months while a student at the National Defense University in Washington and who concludes that having openly gay troops in the ranks will not hurt combat readiness.

The views do not necessarily reflect those of Pentagon leaders, but their appearance in a publication billed as the Joint Chiefs’ “flagship’’ security studies journal signals that the top brass now welcomes a debate in the military over repealing the 1993 law that requires gays to hide their sexual orientation, according to several longtime observers of the charged debate over gays in the military.

While decisions on which articles to publish are made by the journal’s editorial board, located at the defense university, a senior military official said yesterday that the office of Admiral Mike Mullen, the Joint Chiefs chairman who is the nation’s top military officer, reviewed the article before it was published.

“After a careful examination, there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that unit cohesion will be negatively affected if homosexuals serve openly,’’ writes Colonel Om Prakash, who is now working in the office of Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates. “Based on this research, it is not time for the administration to reexamine the issue; rather it is time for the administration to examine how to implement the repeal of the ban.’’

The article, an advance copy of which was provided to the Globe, is likely to increase pressure on President Obama to fulfill his campaign pledge to work with Congress to overturn the 1993 law commonly referred to as “don’t ask, don’t tell.’’

The law stipulates that gays in the military must keep their sexual orientation secret. In the 16 years it has been in effect, more than 12,500 troops have been discharged because their sexual orientation was revealed, either by themselves or others.

But Obama has tread very carefully since taking office, declining to provide a timeline on when the White House will actively lobby Congress and repeatedly saying that he will consult his military advisers before taking any action. The White House did not respond yesterday to requests for comment. Gates’s office reiterated that until Congress changes the law, the Pentagon will follow it.

Obama’s reticence is based in part on the lessons of former president Bill Clinton, who sought to allow gays to serve openly early in his administration but was forced to agree to the 1993 compromise after a fierce backlash in Congress and the military.Continued...

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Representative Patrick Murphy, a Pennsylvania Democrat and Iraq war veteran, is lobbying for a hearing - possibly later this year or early next year - on legislation that he has proposed that would repeal the ban. The bill has 176 cosponsors; there is no similar legislation pending in the Senate.

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Arguing that the law “has been costly both in personnel and treasure’’ - the cost of discharging service members and recruiting replacements, including those with language or other specialized skills - Prakash lays out a case in his article for why he believes the time has come for repeal.

While he acknowledges that allowing gays to serve openly would cause some disruptions in the ranks - including harassment and even violence - he asserts that the disruptions would be manageable and that the military would quickly accept the change. Moreover, he argues that a more equitable policy would actually strengthen unit cohesion.

“No doubt there will be cases where units will become dysfunctional, just as there are today among heterosexual leaders,’’ Prakash writes. “Intervention will be required; such units must be dealt with just as they are today - in a prompt and constructive fashion.’’

Ensuring a smooth transition will require education and leadership, he believes, but the record suggests that there will be no major fallout.

Prakash cites the examples of other militaries - including in Australia, Israel, the United Kingdom, and Canada - that allow gays to serve openly. “There was no mass exodus of heterosexuals, and there was no mass ‘coming out’ of homosexuals,’’ he said.

Prakash also points to recent examples of gay soldiers - including battlefield leaders such as a Marine Corps captain - whose sexual orientation has been known by others in their units, to no discernible effect.

But the crux of Prakash’s argument is that the military is now forcing thousands of soldiers to live a lie, directly undercutting the very fabric of their profession.

“The law also forces unusual personal compromises wholly inconsistent with a core military value - integrity,’’ he writes. “Several homosexuals interviewed were in tears as they described the enormous personal compromise in integrity they had been making, and the pain felt in serving in an organization they wholly believed in, yet that did not accept them.’’

He continues: “In an attempt to allow homosexual service members to serve quietly, a law was created that forces a compromise in integrity, conflicts with the American creed of ‘equality for all,’ places commanders in difficult moral dilemmas, and is ultimately more damaging to the unit cohesion its stated purpose is to preserve.’’

The article is likely to be applauded by gay rights groups that have been lobbying the Obama administration to take action to overturn the ban. But it is also likely to embolden supporters of the current law such as Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, a Washington think tank.

She believes that allowing gays to serve openly in all ranks and units - as the Murphy bill stipulates - would severely damage unit cohesion. “It is tantamount to saying that men should share the same living spaces with women,’’ she said. “Society may have changed but the need for good order and discipline has not changed.’’

Donnelly also contends that the experiences of foreign militaries should not be a guide for the US armed forces, saying that some of them have conscript armies and do not allow gays to serve in elite combat units.

“These are not role models for the United States,’’ she said. “Congress is being asked to impose a risky military social experiment that is duplicated nowhere in the world.’’

Bryan Bender can be reached at bender@globe.com.

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