Friday, May 28, 2010

TRUE BLOOD


Take away the "vampire element" of this show, and the one thing I've seen more and more is that "bigoted people" that incite hatred, intolerance, and violence against the innocent trying to fight for their right to exist are the so-called religious ones. BRILLIANT.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Rockaway Beach Pacifica, CA



I took the truck further down Pacifica (south of San Francisco) and walked around Rockaway Beach up to the mountain facing the Pacific ocean. What a fantastic view!
To all of my friends that have not yet visited the Bay Area, you are welcome to come visit. It's an amazing place!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Amateur Video Of Gulf Oil Slick - Worse Than BP Admits

10% of the American population believes in this batshit poll

(from Raw Story written by John Byrne)Poll: Ten percent of Americans believe environmentalists intentionally caused oil spill

That's right, 10 percent. but wait, there's more:


Fifth of those polled say disaster increases their belief in drilling
Ten percent of Americans believe environmentalists intentionally sabotaged the oil rig Deepwater Horizon off the Gulf Coast according to a poll released Tuesday, apparently as part of a ploy to reduce Americans' support for offshore drilling.
The surprising finding was contained in a poll released Tuesday by Public Policy Polling. Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh floated the idea on his nationally syndicated talk show.
Polling director Tom Jensen downplayed the finding in a blog post, arguing that the figure was insignificant. He noted, however, that if "undecideds" were included, the number of Americans who are unsure about or believe the environmental sabotage theory rises to more than thirty percent.
"Just 9% of voters say they think environmentalists caused the spill while 22% are unsure and 69% don't believe they had anything to do with it," Jensen writes. "Even among GOP voters only 13% are buying into the 'the environmentalists' did it frame of mind."

Also notable in the poll was that almost a fifth of Americans said they were more likely to support offshore drilling after the oil disaster.
"Perhaps most surprisingly 21% of voters said the spill made them more likely to support offshore drilling," Jensen added. "That includes an even split among GOP voters, 28% of whom said the spill made them more likely to support drilling and 28% of whom said the spill made them less likely to support drilling."
If environmentalists were really responsible, as Rush Limbaugh asserts, their "ploy" hasn't succeeded, the poll finds. Fifty five percent of Americans polled after the oil leak still supported offshore drilling. Democrats polled were narrowly opposed.
Americans' belief in things not seen isn't new -- more than half of Americans polled in a 2008 study said they believed "angels and demons" were active in the world, with 80 percent claiming that miracles do occur.
Seven hundred and seven Americans were surveyed in the Public Policy study, conducted between May 7 and May 9. The poll carries a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 points.

This is just goes to show how the 10% that listen to people like blowhard Rush Limbaugh are the most BATSHIT crazy. First of all, how is that EVEN possible considering that the well is 5,000 feet (over 1 mile) under water and a diver would be crushed under that immense water pressure.

It is absurd on so many levels. Think about this, the earth's oceans are vastly unexplored and many are at depths way deeper that are unreachable with the current technologies we have. At 5,000 feet underwater, the pressure is several tons per square foot. At those depths, an automobile would be crushed like a sardine can. Environmentalist groups have the means to acquire small submarines to reach that level and a little more (that's how the Titanic was found as it is 2 miles underwater), but they need permission from governments including ours to go into the ocean.

These people that are buying into that bullshit/batshit conspiracy theory are very uneducated.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A letter to Conservatives

"vote conservative"? my response to a right wing brother

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Tue May 11, 2010 at 02:18:42 PM PDT

I have a very, very conservative brother. (Actually--full disclosure--I have two. And a father. I don't know what is wrong with the men in my family.) :-) The brother in question owns his own business down in Florida, and my son, in his mid-twenties, has been having difficulties finding a job (like everyone). I had never asked before, but I decided to impose upon my brother to see if he might be able to help, though I doubted if, in today's economy, he would.
In his response (negative, of course), he took the opportunity to make some pretty blunt statements about "the mess that your president has made of the country’s economics." He went on to say,
I only wish that someone in the administration at sometime had enrolled in a college course of Economics 101… Apparently, they all studied “Greek Economics” instead…
He closed by inviting me to "vote conservative please" in the midterms. I do not usually engage any of these men in political discussions because it is usually the verbal equivalent of repeatedly hitting my head into a granite wall, but this time I just couldn't help it. Follow me below the fold to see my response.
Hi, Greg,
I seem to recall that the current economic disaster began and in fact grew to its monstrous size under your President, whose policies were so short-sighted and reckless that he managed to turn a several billion dollar surplus into a near total economic collapse in eight years. The TARP was his program, a last minute bailout of his buds on the Street who had treated the money entrusted to them by the middle class as their own private casino funds, bet it all again and again in speculative endeavors that even they admit were absurd, and--gee whillikers!--ultimately collapsed under their own artificially propped up weight.
You may certainly disagree with Obama's Keynesian approach to resolving the problem, but if you examine what is happening in the economy today there is little doubt that it is working. Not as quickly as everyone would like it to work, certainly, but then it took a very long time to create this mess, so fixing it in a little more than a year is and always was highly unlikely.
Still, let's see what Obama has presided over thus far, shall we?
When he came in, the stock market was in free fall.
Today, it has completely recovered and is setting records.
When he came in, the American auto business was in danger of becoming extinct.
Today, Detroit may not be thriving, but the Big 3 are alive and well and looking to the future.
When he came in, Bush had paid out $700B in TARP money.
Today, all but $100B or so has been repaid.
When he came in, the nation was bleeding jobs, losing them at a pace that seemed assured to land us in another Great Depression.
Almost immediately, after passing the Recovery Act, the bleeding lessened. Every month of his administration, it has continued to lessen. Then, in December, the economy began producing jobs. Every month since then it has produced more jobs than the month before, with over 200K produced in April alone.
He has managed to accomplish something that Presidents have been trying to do since Teddy Roosevelt: get Congress to adopt a national health care policy that regulates the insurance industry and guarantees coverage without recision. It is not enough, but it is a start.
He has removed the banks as middle men in the student loan industry for the first time since Reagan put them there. Do you know when college education costs started skyrocketing? I'll tell you: the Reagan administration. Hmmm... Again, it's not nearly enough, but it's a step.
Despite being fought tooth and nail by opposition whose only cohesive policy appears to be "say no to everything Obama wants," he seems to be making headway against most of the big issues that faced him when he came into office. If the GOP would stop playing politics and start (oh, I don't know) trying to govern, we could be well on our way not only to recovery but to a truly remarkable time in America. But the GOP would rather foster unrest and encourage anger and hatred and doubt than do anything positive at this point in their existence.
Truly, that's too bad. When I look at the sorry state of the Republican Party right now, I just feel sad. It has been taken over by its worst elements. You ask me to "vote conservative"? I don't think I could if I even wanted to. True conservatives are hard to come by in this charade of "tea party" extremists. When Bob Bennett gets kicked out of the Senate by his constituents in Utah for not being "conservative" enough, the world is out of whack. When Charlie Crist and Arlen Spector can't find a place any longer within the GOP, something is seriously wrong with the party of Lincoln. When John McCain has to stoop to picking Sarah Freaking Palin as a running mate to appease the ultra right wing knuckle-draggers in his own party and then agree to allow her to foment vitriol in rally after rally to the extent that things got so out of control that even he had to step in at one rally and set his voters straight, someone has lost all sense of propriety. When the party becomes the home of bigots and birthers and men who show up to Presidential rallies wearing weapons, sanity has left the building. When the State of Maine, which usually remains somewhat above the lunacy and which has (to its credit) the only two moderate Republicans still allowed to roam free, loses its collective mind and issues a political platform that is so utterly (as one writer put it) "batshit crazy" that at one point it actually demands that the State of Maine officially oppose any attempt to create a one-world government, the whole party has officially come unhinged. Talk about giving in to the conspiracy theorists. Why don't they just mandate tin-foil hats?
The thing is that conservatism, true conservatism, is needed in this country. Just as yin needs yang, as dark needs light, as up needs down, so liberal needs conservative. Everything requires balance. Bush proved that. When the Dems were rolling over and playing dead, acquiescing to everything he asked for in his first term instead of using the fact that his majorities were slim to negotiate better bills, Bush rode roughshod over the Constitution, deceived us into an immoral and very costly war, became the king of the unfunded mandate, and spent years rewarding the richest people in the land and ignoring everyone else so that, just before everything went to hell, the gap between executive and worker pay was by far the largest it had ever been in history. The rich got richer and richer and the middle class and the poor could not make ends meet.
These were his legacies, Greg. His legacies, not Obama's. Because he was a neocon, not a true conservative. I do not agree with conservatism, as you are well aware. But I respect it. It is honorable and sincere and those who believe in its philosophies truly have the best interests of America in mind when they run for offices under conservative banners. But the neocons? Uh uh. History will record--if they have not started us on an irreparable path to our own national destruction--that they were one of the greediest and most self-righteous groups of leaders ever, that their hypocrisy was matched only by their amorality, and that they presided over the systematic and intentional undermining of a system of checks and balances that had been in place since the Great Depression which, once gone, unleashed a torrent of cash into their coffers and aggressively destroyed the economy for everyone else.
Sadly, there would be no place in today's GOP for any GOP President in American history save Bush and (maybe) Reagan. Pappy Bush would never make it. Nixon? He's practically a liberal. Ford? Forget it. Ike? No way in hell. Do you what the taxes were like under Ike? The highest progressive tax rate was 90% for the income in the highest margins. 90%. Imagine that! And what did the poorest pay? Nothing.
Communist!
Where is the party of these Presidents? Where is the party of William F. Buckley? Where is the party of Russell Kirk? Hell, Barry Goldwater, who was considered so outrageously conservative in 1964 that Lyndon Johnson's voters actually believed the "daisy ad," would be in the Democratic Party today. William Safire defined himself as a "libertarian conservative"; is there even room for that in today's GOP?
This GOP has earned its "Party of No" moniker. John Boehner's office actually began circulating templates opposing Obama's SCOTUS nominee with "INSERT NAME" on them, the templates proclaiming (basically) the downfall of civilization as we know it if this nominee (whoever it happened to be apparently was unimportant) gets through. Despite the fact--the fact--that Obama has, from the outset, reached out to them time after time after time, angering his own constituents in the process by (in the opinion of many on the left) giving away the store before negotiations even start just to show his good faith, the GOP insists on maintaining the lie that he refuses to include them in anything. The health care bill is chock full of Republican ideas, but all you heard from them was "he's shoving it down our throats." The first thing Obama did in the Recovery bill was to agree to tax cuts despite the fact that Keynesian economics tells us that they are utterly counterproductive because it would, he thought, bring the GOP to the table. In the final Stim Bill, there were I think almost $200B in cuts. My taxes were lower this year; were yours? A study just today says that we are being taxed at the lowest rate since Truman. Good Lord! What does anyone have to complain about the job the government is doing with the little we are still giving them?
Don't get me wrong. I don't want to give them more. I can't afford to. But I'll tell you what: unlike the idiots who took the Washington Metro to anti-government rallies to chant against all taxes and government interference in their daily lives ("but keep your hands off our Medicare!") and then bitch about the long waits to get back home on the (government-run) trains, saying that someone should have put more cars on duty for the rallies, I understand what I am paying for. I am paying for the infrastructure of this nation. Much of it is old and crumbling and in desperate need of repair, and, yes, in need of our tax dollars to make those repairs happen. But I wouldn't be driving on interstate highways with excellent police protection to places that won't burn down because fire codes are strictly enforced where I can eat healthy food that I know won't kill me because health codes too are enforced (and I could go on) if it were not for those tax dollars. That's just the truth. And I for one would not wish to do without any of these things. And, seeing the excellent job that the banks and the insurance industries have done of keeping college and health costs down through good old fashioned capitalistic free enterprise, and watching the way Wall Street has consistently screwed the middle class while padding its pockets, even during the current crisis--even while taking taxpayer handouts!--I think I'd rather have the government in charge and take my chances.
(Oh, and before you say "but Medicare is a shambles," just stop. It's not. It's just underfunded. Thank you, Bush tax cuts. There is a reason those tea partiers are holding those "hands off my medicare" signs, and it isn't because they like crappy health care.)
I don't usually bother trying to get you to see "my" side of the political argument, Greg. Frankly, it's not worth it. You are an amazingly smart guy, but you've spent too many hours watching Fox News and believing that you are seeing something that actually is true. Heck, I think Rush Limbaugh has even begun to believe the garbage he spews into the ether, and he was perfectly willing to admit several years ago that he is, first and foremost, an entertainer. (FWIW, I don't think that Ann Coulter believes a word she says. I think she is a huge hypocrite saying whatever she thinks will sell books, and she's found a ready audience on Fox. She's become such a caricature of herself that she simply cannot be taken seriously and, unlike Rush, she never was an entertainer, so there's no excuse.)
But anyway, for whatever reason, I just thought I'd give this a shot, even if it falls on the deaf ears I suspect it will. You think I have swallowed Obama's Kool-Aid and I'm just echoing the party line, but I'm not. It's the Fox News types, the Tea Partiers, who have swallowed the Kool-Aid, and it really is poison. As for me, well, I question Obama all the time. I'm very unhappy with the fact that Guantanamo is still open, for instance. And I am deeply disturbed by the fact that he has not issued an Executive Order--as would be within his authority--halting execution of DADT until Congress can eliminate it. I think that at least one of these SCOTUS nominees should have been a flaming liberal; Bush did not hesitate to appoint ardent conservatives. I also think he appeases the GOP too much, especially when they have shown again and again that they are utterly unwilling to compromise in any way. My feeling is that he should just say "screw it" and use his Democratic majorities to forge powerful left-leaning legislation, just as Bush did on the other side with far smaller majorities (and even with a Senate tie): if the GOP doesn't want a part in things, the heck with them. But he continues to be a statesman despite everything. And you know what? After eight years of having a class clown as President, I sort of like that.
I do hope that you have read this thoughtfully and recognize that I am, though unabashedly liberal, ardently in favor of a strong, thoughtful, rational opposition party. At this moment in time, the GOP is not that party. I fear that it is heading down a road from which it may not be able to recover for a very long time, if ever. When the Democrats were in a similar position--hijacked by their fringes--in the early 70's, they turned inward, re-examined their priorities, and ended up nominating Jimmy Carter. You'll argue that he was a disastrous President. I have two responses: first, it was circumstances, not policy, that caused the problems of the late 70's, and anyone in the White House at that time would have been in the same boat. He was tremendously unlucky and, distrusted by the still very active fringes of the party, received little support in Congress. Second, because of the above, he lost in 1980, setting in motion both the ensuing twelve years of Republican rule and the rise of the neocons, which ultimately led to Bush and the near-destruction of the American economy. A party hijacked by its fringes fails. Even winning the Presidency in 1976 became a failure for the Democrats because those fringes within their party refused to let Carter govern, aligning themselves again and again with the GOP across the aisle. So the fringes caused what amounted to two decades of disaster for the party.
And I hate to say this, but the Democrats on the fringe, though clearly outside of the realm of political reality, stood for something morally good. They stood for basic human dignity and welfare, for equal rights for everyone, for helping those in need. What does the fringe of the right today stand for? Hatred and distrust. Hatred of Obama, hatred of gays, bigotry, anger, distrust of government, lack of faith in even the evidence right before their eyes that Obama is in fact a US citizen. I am worried that a party that gives in to this kind of fringe will implode, never to return. A new second party will emerge, perhaps the Libertarians, who are in a good position, but it would be a shame.
Abraham Lincoln is often cited as the standard bearer of the GOP. They like Teddy Roosevelt too. And Ike. But these guys would not recognize the party of today. And they sure as heck would not want to be a part of it.
But that's OK: they wouldn't be welcome if they did.
Karen
UPDATE: Wow, go away for an hour and I'm on the rec list. If I knew that was how to do it, I'd leave right after posting every time! :-) (Thanks, folks.)
UPDATE #2: To all those who asked, feel free to copy, paste, and send this anywhere you want. I'd be honored if something of mine went semi-viral. :-)
UPDATE #3: After waiting all day to see how Greg would respond, I just received an email from him limited in scope to my son's situation. A quick query later, I discovered that he had never received my message! I've resent it. Don't know if he's still online.
UPDATE #4: I adjusted the "90%" tax rate to phrase it more accurately.
This letter is from a poster on the Daily Kos and was re-posted by my friend Sherman on Facebook. PRICELESS.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

And the award goes to....

mother's day....

I never really liked to talk about my parents especially not my mother because how I came to existence to this earth and how I grew up was not a happy childhood.

My parents got married out of convenience and opportunity, not by true love. Their marriage was doomed from the beginning as he was a physically and emotionally abusive man towards my mom, and they divorced soon after my sister of 3 & 1/2 years younger than me was born. My birth father never wanted either one of us. There was only a handful of times that he appeared the last time being when I was 14 years old. Seeing that I was working at the time, he boldly asked me for money which I was stunned and then told to essentially go to hell. Never saw him again after that.

My relationship with my mother was always testy as far as I could remember. She was a patient woman, but being an immigrant in a country she did not know, where she barely spoke the language, and struggling to make ends meet, and worrying about us growing up in a really bad neighborhood, she did the best she with the little resources she had.

My mother never got over the emotional damage her marriage to my father did and the divorce that followed after. She was very bitter and took it out on us as kids, mainly me because I physically looked like him. There was only a handful of times I can remember where she was a loving woman towards me and my sister. But she did hold anger against us, and many times she made it clear to both of us that she didn't want us.

Finding out I'm gay made life at home unbearable. When I moved out at 17 years old, my mother made it very clear I was on my own and I'd never be allowed to come home ever again. It didn't really bother me that she was this way until I got to see how so many other people I knew had parents that loved their children and wanted to be there for them. One thanksgiving my mother was having at her house and I asked her if she could come and give me a ride over as I didn't have a vehicle at the time and had no way of coming over. She refused to come get me. When I came back from living in Chicago and was looking for a place to live, I asked her to allow to stay with her temporarily just until I got back on my feet, she turned me away.

Last time I saw mother in person or made any contact with her was in 1996, the last time I asked her to help me when I had nowhere to go. After that, I pretty much went silent. And here my sister and I had parents that didn't want either one of us. I didn't and still don't understand why. How could a parent turn their back on their children?

During all this time, my mother tells the family that she has no idea what she did to her children especially me, that has made me completely shut her out. In response to my family I did 2 things: I outed myself, which divided my family, and then wrote her a nice long letter telling her word for word why.

So my mother takes ill with breast cancer. She has the lump removed and receives treatment. A year later, the cancer spreads and she ends up having surgery to remove her pancreas. Diabetes and taking about 15cc's of insulin a day which she has side effects and allergic reactions.

Her health is in decline. I made one attempt along with my sister to see her and unfortunately as always, it ends up badly. She's not taking care of her health and showing defiance towards us for scolding her in eating foods that would kill a person that is a diabetic. I walk, out my sister Alma following right behind me.

I busted my ass going to college twice and then cemented my relationship with Vic by us moving in together. My man has seen first hand how my family has treated me, and he's also met my sister. Alma told me how lucky I am to be with somebody. I told her she would have had the same thing if she made the right choices. My sister and I never had a good relationship as kids. It's funny that now I don't know who she is.

My birth father passed away in early 2007 at 68 years old and he left no will. I always thought the man really believed he was going to die much older and take his estate with him. I was contacted by relatives about his passing but I relinquished my claim and turned everything over to my sister. The reason being is that if anyone rightfully deserved any monetary claim to our father's estate it would be her. I went to college and invested in myself. I did what I needed to do for me and have no regrets. Alma is a single unwed mother that dropped out of high school. She is someone that deserves to have a better life and this was her opportunity for that.

Upon moving out here to the bay area in April 2008 with Vic, it sent a strong message back to my family I'm alright and doing ok. I have no regrets about my decision. Vic is doing well, I'm still pounding the pavement trying to find a permanent position in I.T. and no matter I'm gonna persevere. I always have.

On August 8th, 2008, my mother passed away of complications from diabetes. I still to this day wonder what is it really like to have and know that you have loving parents that would never turn their back on you. Vic and so many people I know came from loving good homes. I ask this question: what is it like to come from a loving home? to have parents that love and want you? to have family you know you can rely on? This is something I wonder even though I am now pushing 40 years old.

My mother had a hard life. I don't harbor hate as she did the best she could. I always loved my mom even though she was far from perfect. She tried.

She's at peace now.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

IMAGINE....


If this were in every gay bar in San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles, & Miami, a fellow facebooker & I were just discussing how some drunk idiotic queer would try to attempt on using it for more than just taking a piss.
There would be a lot of hospital visits ;)

A MESSAGE TO EVERY RIGHT-WING ASSHOLE ACROSS AMERICA:


-- Bill Maher: "Every asshole who ever chanted 'Drill baby drill' should have to report to the Gulf coast today for cleanup duty..."