Sunday, June 10, 2007

Bombs Away!

Picture it: Iraq/Iran/Afghanistan/Any other place where the US is likely to be in a war. Instead of dropping a bomb that would cause massive destruction and death, the US launches a very phallic missile. When the rocket strikes, instead of a mushroom cloud of fire and death, a light lavender scent fills the air. Subsequently, all of the unaware enemy ground forces drop their guns and start playing with guns and each others.

No, this is not the start of a military themed gay porn nor is it a hoax pulled out of the air (I am really not that creative). On Friday, the Pentagon confirmed that US military leaders had considered a proposal from the Air Force's Wright Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio.

The Ohio Air Force lab proposed that a bomb be developed that contained a chemical that would cause enemy soliders to become gay, and to have their units break down because all their soldiers became irresistably attractive to one another. As part of a military effort to develop non-lethal weapons, the proposal suggested, "One distasteful but completely non-lethal example would be strong aphrodisiacs, especially if the chemical also caused homosexual behavior."

It should be pointed out that the military quickly dismissed the idea and never funded the $7.5 million requested to develop the technology.

Still, if the Gay Bomb had been produced and the technology had been successful...I'll leave the fantasies to you...

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Lovely Ladies of the Legislature

Watching the incessant floor sessions this time of year can often be a boring chore. Young staffers are frequently required to monitor sessions to ensure Members are participating appropriately, that important bills are getting the necessary votes, and to provide bosses with all the information they want and need. In the back area of the chambers, staffers whisper critically of the long hours working in the building, the silly arguments made on the floor, and even the fashion choices made by Members.

On that final note, I have made some big observations this week about the status of fashion in the Capitol. Months ago, I critiqued the fashion choices of the boys of the legislature. Today, it’s the girl’s turn.

Assembly Member Galgiani
She is a sweetheart in the Assembly- kind, gentle, and a friend to all. Unfortunately, she needs to bleach her roots. Roots and platinum blonde hair are a deadly combination. But she isn’t the only Member that dresses well but has a horribly dye job—Fiona Ma comes to mind.

Assembly Member Walters
This Republican frequently stands alone in the legislature- both in votes and fashion. She is as likely as not to be the only no vote on a bill she passionately disagrees with. As one of the slimmest elected officials in the California Legislature, she looks like a fashion model in some of the classiest of dresses and suits.

Assembly Member Garcia
We know Ms. Garcia is proud of her curvy body because she reminds us as much frequently, although it has been a while since she has spoken publicly about her breasts. Her suits are exquisitely well tailored to showcase her hourglass figure. Perhaps, too well tailored. How much overtime does her tailor get?

Assembly Member Parra
If you are watching Floor from your TV, you are missing out on the whole picture. Ms. Parra’s shoes cry out to be seen. Seriously, great shoes! Keep an eye open for them!

Assembly Member Strickland
For a pregnant lady, Ms. Strickland is doing a simply fantastic job of keeping herself stylish. The long coats she has been sporting are fabulous.

Assembly Member Berg
Ms. Berg is a kind, older lady. Tiny and frail looking, she has been recently spotted building support for a few progressive bills she cares deeply about (including the Assisted Suicide Bill and the Gay Marriage Bill that was passed yesterday). Typically her outfits are low-waisted, flowy, and very reminiscent of the Roaring Twenties. Paired with long strings of beads and a short hairdo, Ms. Berg has one of the most stunning and unique styles in the Legislature. Kudos to her!

Monday, June 04, 2007

A Sad Comparison

After watching part of the debate between the Democratic Party presidential candidates, I realized I really ought to compare the stances of the popular candidates on several of the big Gay issues of today.

Not surprisingly, the results favor the Democratic candidates. Also, not surprisingly Republican candidates were less likely to have formulated positions on certain issues...except for Mitt Romney. Romney, it seems, has a consistent answer for everything these days. A few years ago, he was supportive of Gay rights, but no longer. Today, he is universally opposed to the "radical homosexual agenda."

On Ending DADT

McCain supports Don't Ask Don't Tell, lauding it as a solution to a difficult problem. Clinton, Obama, and Edwards all oppose it. Giuliani wants it repealed. Romney wants to keep it.

On Gay Marriage

None of the six major candidates openly supports federal marriage equality. However, McCain, Clinton, Obama, and Edwards support the right of states to enact Gay marriage laws. Giuliani recently spoke against the New Hampshire plan to enact strong Civil Unions because they were too similar to marriage. Romney opposes Gay Marriage, universally.


ENDA is the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, legislation intended to ensure that Gay people are not discriminated against in the workplace. All three major Democratic candidates have voiced their support for the bill. McCain opposes the bill. Giuliani doesn't seem to have a position on it. Romney opposes ENDA.

On Hate Crimes Legislation

All three major Democratic Candidates support legislation that would include Sexual Orientation as a basis for hate crimes. McCain, Giuliani, and Romney oppose hate crime legislation.

On Civil Unions

McCain, Giuliani, Clinton, Obama, and Edwards have all spoken frequently supporting the civil unions or domestic partnerships as an equivalent to Gay Marriage. Although such unions are not equal to marriage, they are preferable to no legal union at all. Romney opposes Civil Unions.

On HIV/AIDS Funding

HIV/AIDS is still a monumental concern in the Gay community. As a result support for AIDS and AIDS prevention is paramount.

McCain has long been a supporter of the Ryan White CARE Act to provide AIDS funding in the US. He, Clinton, Obama, and Edwards have each demonstrated their willingness to expand this funding. Giuliani supported AIDS causes as Mayor but has not taken a clear stance on HIV/AIDS funding as a presidential issue. Romney opposes AIDS funding and attempted to reduce AIDS spending as Governor.

On Comprehensive Sex Ed

Giuliani hasn't expressed a position that I could find. Clinton, Obama, and Edwards all support comprehensive sex education programs. McCain doesn't support funding such programs. However he has expressed that he is unsure that condoms are effective prevention against STDs. Romney supports abstinence only sex education which, by its very nature, is not comprehensive.

In conclusion, the three main Dem candidates are fervently courting the Gay vote. Meanwhile, Guiliani and McCain have failed to take strong pro-Gay Rights stances where it really matters. No major candidate from either party is willing to allow Gay Americans to have full, equal rights.

And Mitt Romney opposes Gay Rights.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

The Suspense is Killing Me

For those who are keeping track, Appropriations Madness is over. More than 600 bills were rushed through the the Assembly Suspense Calendar alone. Many of these bills were "held" and virtually killed while most moved on to the floor for a full vote. Additionally, the Senate Appropriations Committee moved along hundreds more bills.

Among the bills killed on Suspense was the controversial spanking bill. Among the bills passed was the measure to legalize Gay Marriage in California.

Worth noting was an article in the Sacramento Bee this week that criticized Assemblyman Mark Leno, Chair of Assembly Appropriations, for hosting a fundraiser the day before the biggest Appropriations hearing of the year. While this is clearly an avenue that eases the ability for high powered lobbyists to reach the chair of Appropriations and, as the CRP said, "doesn't pass the smell test," it is hardly unique to Mr. Leno.

Last year, Governor Schwarzenegger held events during the months of August and September when he is expected to act on every piece of legislation passed by the Legislature during that year. Members of both parties from the Senate and Assembly routinely hold fundraisers during all parts of the year including Budgeting Mayhem and Floorapalooza.

Simply holding a fundraiser during a busy time of the year doesn't necessarily mean a politician is beholden to special interest groups. But in the case of Mr. Leno who is running against Ms. Miggy for the Senate, one must straighten up and fly right. Advice to Mark Leno: Keep Carole's exploits in the news. If this is the worst they've got on you, you've got it made.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Just When You Thought Bay Area Freeways Were Safe...

Crazy Carole comes careening through!

Last weekend, Carole Migden, the oh-so-honorable Senator from San Francisco caused a car accident...or a few...while talking on a cell phone and driving eratically.

Some of the choice quotes witnesses used included (courtesy of Boi from Troy):
  • “Please get out here, she is crazy”
  • “I noticed the car hit the center median divide”
  • “Erratic and dangerous driver”
  • “She cut me off and afterwards she screamed that she was a Senator, ‘I am a Senator”
  • “She didn’t seem all there at the time”
  • “Going at least 80 miles per hour and swerving from one lane to another”
  • “It was a female who was both reading and speaking on the telephone at the same time while trying to negotiate the lanes”

Now ol' Ms. Miggy has brought forward a new revelation: CANCER!

It appears that Senator Migden has been suffering from a bout of leukemia for several years. Until now, however, she has decided not to become public with her health issues because she didn't want the sympathy.

Except now, she DOES want the sympathy. So its okay to share with the world.

She is also blaming her lapse of driving ability on her illness. Perhaps she will also blame her illness for her shrill voice, utter lack of humanity, and famously short temper. Maybe the doctors can correct the problem, and a pill can turn the General into the Queen of Nice.

But its doubtful.

We Need a Hero

I hate that I am posting a liberal, anti-war, get-out-of-Iraq post on Memorial Day, but it does seem to be the most fitting time. Before people start to characterize me as a military-hating, anti-war, delusion peacenik liberal, hear me out for a moment.

I am in full support of all branches of the US Military. I think the work they have done and continue to do worldwide has been essential to world stability and America's strength and superiority. But I also think the time has come where their presence in Iraq no longer adds to American security and does seriously jeopardize the security of our boys (and girls and bois) in uniform.

I may sound callous when I suggest that American lives are more important than other lives. In the eyes of the US Government, at least, they should be. Americans both civilian and military, at home and abroad must be protected. The original premise of the war in Iraq was to ensure our safety at home. It is not the job of American forces to unilaterally solve the political problems of other nations. Our primary objective was to remove from power forces with the ability to put Americans in danger in the United States.

The mission succeeded in some ways and failed in others.

Clearly, Saddam Hussein is dead. Osama bin Laden has gone into hiding and has been unable to successfully orchestrate a large-scale attack on US soil since 9/11. Many other terrorist leaders have been killed or captured.

Unfortunately, every day, we lose more young people, primarily men of my own age, to a war that has had very little positive effect on American life.

In the months following September 11, 2001, America was in absolute fear of another attack. We were so fearful that we were willing to relinquish some of our most sacred liberties to the government to ensure our protection. While we now must live with a greater government intrusion in our personal lives than ever before, we feel only slightly more safe. This is evidenced by the paranoia that still surrounds us in public transportation, parks, and other public places. Unattended packages, groups of Arabs, and any whisper of a bomb has the potential to ground a flight. Even a bottle of shave gel or cologne can set the airlines in a panic.

The truth is, we were careless before 9/11. We, the American people, and our government should have been paying more attention and enacting policies to prevent terrorism. Now we are in a war to prevent further acts of violence. Unfortunately, our war has ceased to provide a net gain in terror prevention and is instead training guerillas that are well prepared to fight, and kill, Americans.

The best that can be done now is to reduce the situation. Our government has no other suitable option than to begin a withdrawal of troops and enact domestic policies that will prevent the war from reaching our soil.

On this Memorial Day, I want to applaud our armed services for their hard work and sacrifices, and honor those that have fallen. Their work and sacrifices have not been in vain. Their work might, however, be better suited toward other ends than a fruitless war in Iraq.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Homophobe: Laura Richardson

That's the word according to Senator Sheila Kuehl: If you are a Dem voting in the 37th Congressional District primary, don't vote for Assembly Member Laura Richardson.

As the story goes, Long, Long ago (when Romney still supported Gay rights before he voted against them and when Oprah had really just lost all the weight for good) Laura Richardson fought in a hard primary battle against openly-gay Gerrie Shipske. After she lost, she claimed that Shipske was beholden to the "radical gay agenda" and strongly backed by "the only gay in the Assembly."

While it is true that Gay Rights have never really been popular in the African-American community, it was wrong of her then to speak so negatively of Gay politics. Everybody in politics (especially a seasoned liberal) knows that the phrase "Radical Gay Agenda" infuriates Gay activists more than almost any other. More recently, Richardson has repositioned herself to be very supportive of the Gay community.

At best, Laura Richardson is not trustworthy for changing a major stance so dramatically in such a short period of time. At worst, she is a homophobe. Either way, Gay and Lesbian residents in the 37th District should think twice before giving her their support.

Falwell DEAD!

The leader of hateful bigots across the country died today at age 73. Preceding him in death were hundreds of thousands of Gay men and boys that died as a result of Falwell's attempts to oppress homosexuality in the US. Many of those men died from AIDS while Falwell and his "Moral Majority" prevented funding for HIV research. Others died because they were denied the love and respect they deserved while Falwell's religious coalition described openminded and inclusive people as "Satanic."

Matt Foreman, executive director of National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, extended condolences to those close to Falwell, but added: "Unfortunately, we will always remember him as a founder and leader of America's anti-gay industry, someone who exacerbated the nation's appalling response to the onslaught of the AIDS epidemic, someone who demonized and vilified us for political gain and someone who used religion to divide rather than unite our nation."

Falwell should also be remembered as a founding contributor to the Sacramento Lambda Center. According to the Lambda Center website:

"On July 13, 1984, Jerry Falwell appeared on television and denied that he had ever referred to Metropolitan Community Church as vile, satanic and its members "brute beasts" on his Old Time Gospel Hour. He offered $5,000 to anyone who could prove that he had. Rev Jerry Sloan of MCC in Sacramento, California, called Falwell's toll-free number and purchased a copy of the tape as proof, and demanded payment of the $5,000. When Falwell refused, Sloan sued and won. With $5,000 in hand the Lambda Community Fund was reorganized in 1984 under its current name by Rev. Jerry Sloan and the late Timothy Warford with the help and guarantees of Terry Sidie, Marghe Covino and the Late C.G.N.I.E. Emperor, Randy Hartman, to mention a few, to serve the broader cross-section of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) community."

May his memory live on in the minds of all those that use the Falwell Memorial toilet at the Sacramento Lambda Center. It is important that all of those involved in the Gay Rights movement remember our powerful adversaries as a gauge of how far we have come.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

President Bush Resigns

Or maybe not...

Perhaps it was wishful thinking, a prophetic moment, or simply a typographical error, but CNN International placed a chyron (pictured above) with the words "Bush resigns" for approximately 12 seconds while reporting on the news of Prime Minister Tony Blair stepping down from office.

Maybe President Bush will take the hint and follow Blair's lead...