Sunday, September 30, 2007

Gay love song for Iran's president

9/11 Is Over - New York Times

9/11 Is Over - New York Times: "What does that mean? This: 9/11 has made us stupid. I honor, and weep for, all those murdered on that day. But our reaction to 9/11 — mine included — has knocked America completely out of balance, and it is time to get things right again."

Saturday, September 29, 2007

I'm Here, President Ahmadinejad -

I'm Here, President Ahmadinejad - "I'm one of those people Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says don't exist. I'm a 25-year-old Iranian, and I'm gay. I live in Tehran with my parents and younger brother and am studying to be a computer software engineer. I've known that I was different from my brother and other boys for as long as I can remember."

Thursday, September 27, 2007

book notes

"The Nine" by Jeffery Toobin

"The gay clerks changes the Court, not because of their advocacy but because of their existence. They were, of course, pretty much indistinguishable from their straight colleagues, and that was precisely the point. The justices, who were without exception polite and decent people, treated the gay clerks with civility. When the longtime partner of a senior lawyer on the Court's staff died, the fist condolence note to the survivor came from Rehnquist."

The name of the famous Powell clerk -- Cabell Chinnis, Jr.

Kennedy announcing Lawrence v. Texas from the bench: "There was no mistaking the significance of Kennedy's opinion. The point was not that the Court was halting sodomy prosecutions, which scarcely took place anymore. Rather, the Court was announcing that gay people could not be branded as criminals simply because of who they were. They were citizens. They were like everybody else. 'The petitioners are entitled to respect for their private lives," Kennedy wrote simply. "The State cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime." The people who had devoted their lives to that cause understood precisely what had happened, which was why, to a degree unprecedented in the Court's history, the benches were full of men and women sobbing with joy."

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

George F. Will - Sauce for the Times -

George F. Will - Sauce for the Times - "The Times, a media corporation that is a fountain of detailed editorial instructions about how the rest of the world should conduct its business, seems confused about how it conducts its own. The Times now says the appropriate rate for's full-page ad should have been $142,000, a far cry from $65,000, which is what the group paid. So the discount of $77,000 constitutes a large soft-money contribution to a federally regulated political committee. The Times' horror of such contributions was expressed in its enthusiasm for McCain-Feingold. FEC regulations state: 'The provision of any goods or services without charge or at a charge that is less than the usual and normal charge for such goods or services is a contribution.' Individuals are limited to contributing $5,000 in a calendar year; corporations such as the Times are forbidden to make any contributions. is going to send the Times a check for $77,000. The Times has apologized, which is sweet, but normally the FEC does not accept apologies in lieu of fines. And often FEC fines are levied after intrusive investigations into motives and intentions. Will there be such an investigation of the Times? The FEC is not lenient when dealing with individuals who, less lawyered-up than the New York Times Co, fall afoul of regulations much more recondite than the bright line the Times ignored."

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Land of the free

City Rebuffs Request by Ahmadinejad - September 19, 2007 - The New York Sun: "New York City, moving swiftly in the face of outrage from the White House to the political hustings to the Jewish community, is rejecting a request by President Ahmadinejad to lay a wreath at Ground Zero when the Iranian is in New York next week for a meeting of the United Nations."

Dana Milbank - GOP Supporters Are Hard to Find on Craig's List -

Dana Milbank - GOP Supporters Are Hard to Find on Craig's List - "'You don't toss off, er, over, a friend of that duration,' reasoned Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), who suggested that others feel the same way in private. 'There's been a lot of favorable talk about Larry in the cloakroom,' Specter said."

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Media Matters - KSFO's Rodgers accused Katrina victims of "sniveling," "whining," riding "gravy train"

Media Matters - KSFO's Rodgers accused Katrina victims of "sniveling," "whining," riding "gravy train": "On the August 29 broadcast of San Francisco radio station KSFO's The Lee Rodgers & Melanie Morgan Program, co-host Lee Rodgers said: 'Today, we are limiting ourselves greatly when it comes to taking part in this sentimental orgy about New Orleans on the second anniversary of [Hurricane] Katrina,' adding: 'They built a city in a swamp that's below sea level. Get over it.' Rodgers also asserted: 'I for one -- now, I'm all in favor of helping needy people, but at what point do you say, 'Hey, it's time that you people got off your asses went to work and earned your own way'? ' He went on to say: 'Two years later, the people who have been freeloading for two years are whining because the gravy train is slowing down,' and added: 'At what point after a disaster and personal hardship are people expected to start taking care of themselves again? Is one hurricane supposed to be a permanent lifelong ticket on a bleeping gravy train? Come on!'"

Monday, September 17, 2007

For a number of gay bars, it's last call --

For a number of gay bars, it's last call -- "But that changed as gays gained greater acceptance in society, older gays became more monogamous, and younger gays gravitated toward nightclubs that cater to a mixed crowd. 'The larger percentage are in relationships, taking care of things at home. A lot have kids,' Tuhy said. 'If you're under 30, you don't care. You just go wherever it's a cool, hot bar.'"

This Is Your (Father’s) Brain on Drugs - New York Times

This Is Your (Father’s) Brain on Drugs - New York Times: "Our most reliable measures show Americans ages 35 to 54 are suffering ballooning crises: • 18,249 deaths from overdoses of illicit drugs in 2004, up 550 percent per capita since 1975, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics. • 46,925 fatal accidents and suicides in 2004, leaving today’s middle-agers 30 percent more at risk for such deaths than people aged 15 to 19, according to the national center. • More than four million arrests in 2005, including one million for violent crimes, 500,000 for drugs and 650,000 for drinking-related offenses, according to the F.B.I. All told, this represented a 200 percent leap per capita in major index felonies since 1975. • 630,000 middle-agers in prison in 2005, up 600 percent since 1977, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. • 21 million binge drinkers (those downing five or more drinks on one occasion in the previous month), double the number among teenagers and college students combined, according to the government’s National Household Survey on Drug Use and Health. • 370,000 people treated in hospital emergency rooms for abusing illegal drugs in 2005, with overdose rates for heroin, cocaine, pharmaceutic and drugs mixed with alcohol far higher than among teenagers. •More than half of all new H.I.V./AIDS diagnoses in 2005 were given to middle-aged Americans, up from less than one-third a decade ago, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

What experts label “adolescent risk taking” is really baby boomer risk taking. It’s true that 30 years ago, the riskiest age group for violent death was 15 to 24. But those same boomers continue to suffer high rates of addiction and other ills throughout middle age, while later generations of teenagers are better behaved. Today, the age group most at risk for violent death is 40 to 49, including illegal-drug death rates five times higher than for teenagers."

In Colorado, Drilling Some Holes in the Republican Base -

In Colorado, Drilling Some Holes in the Republican Base - "'One day we counted 32 semis bumper-to-bumper coming by our house,' said Carol Bell, 59, whose hilltop home outside Silt commands views in every direction. 'It's drilling everywhere I look.' Like most Colorado property owners, Bell and her husband control only 'surface rights.' They had scant leverage with the firm that drilled four wells behind their house, frightening off the 300 elk who wintered there and accidentally spraying paraffin over five acres of hay. A retired pharmaceutical chemist, Bell said she worries about 'the stuff you can't smell, you can't see.' 'It seems like it's changed almost everything,' she said. 'It's not the same place. In fact, we're moving. There are people coming to see the place Saturday.'"

Petraeus lets slip the ugly truth of this war | Andrew Sullivan - Times Online

Petraeus lets slip the ugly truth of this war | Andrew Sullivan - Times Online: "Let us review the stated objectives of the Iraq war chronologically:

2002: to disarm Saddam Hussein of stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction and create a breathing space for democracy in the Middle East (the WMDs were not there; the breathing space became anarchy).

2003: to allow chaos in order to create a “fly-paper” for every jihadist in the world to come and get slaughtered by the US (“Bring it on!”).

2004: to create a new democratic constitution (achieved on paper, but at the price of creating sectarian voting blocs that actually intensified the ethnic and religious divisions pulling the country apart).

2005: to protect Iraq from a powerful and growing Sunni insurgency and disarm the Shi’ite militias (failed).

2006: to quell surging sectarian violence, target a new and lethal Al-Qaeda in Iraq and restrain the passions unleashed by the bombing of the Samarra mosque (failed).

2007: to prevent genocide and a wider regional war and create enough peace for a settlement in the centre (the surge has reduced violence to levels of summer 2006, and no agreement in Baghdad has been reached)."

Oil due for a big drop - BloggingStocks

Oil due for a big drop - BloggingStocks: "Rothman goes as far to say that oil demand will show no growth at all in the fourth quarter, with the slowdown in demand coming just as the Saudis are about to ramp up production in a new field that will bring 800,000 barrels per day to the global oil market. Rothman says the Saudis are displeased that higher oil prices are now choking off demand and stimulating interest in alternative fuels. Saudi Arabia wants to ensure that oil demand grows and hydrocarbons remain the fuel of choice. Growth in non-OPEC supplies will jump 1.3 million barrels per day this year, roughly twice what was forecast. In addition, more big fields will be coming on line at Khursaniyah, Nauyyim, Shaybah and Khurais in the next few years."

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Daily Dish

The Daily Dish: "One of the unintended benefits of Larry Craig's unfortunate entrapment is the revival of interest in Laud Humphreys' ground-breaking - and ethically controversial 1970 study - 'The Tearoom Trade.' It was a milestone in the development of review boards for social studies. But it was followed by an unfinished work by Humphreys (he died prematurely of alcohol and cigarettes) on the perhaps strange fact that many of the men he discovered visiting restrooms for anonymous sex were very conservative in their views of social order and legality."

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Frank Rich: As the Iraqis stand down ... - Jazz Bulletin Board

Frank Rich: As the Iraqis stand down ... - Jazz Bulletin Board: "In this new White House narrative, victory has been downsized to a successful antiterrorist alliance between Sunni tribal leaders and the American military in Anbar, a single province containing less than 5 percent of Iraq's population. In truth, the surge had little to do with this development, which was already being trumpeted by Mr. Bush in his January prime-time speech announcing the surge. Even if you believe that it's a good idea to bond with former Saddamists who may have American blood on their hands, the chances of this 'bottom up' model replicating itself are slim. Anbar's population is almost exclusively Sunni. Much of the rest of Iraq is consumed by the Sunni-Shiite and Shiite-Shiite civil wars that are M.I.A. in White House talking points."

Friday, September 07, 2007

ABC News: Family Affairs: Sen. Craig's Son and Daughter Also Had Brushes With Law

ABC News: Family Affairs: Sen. Craig's Son and Daughter Also Had Brushes With Law: "The criminal records of Michael Craig and his sister, whom Sen. Craig adopted after marrying their mother, Suzanne, in 1983, not only call into question their credibility as character witnesses but may even further undermine Craig's portrayal of himself as a defender of family values. At least two women have sought restraining orders against Michael Craig, who was once charged with statutory rape, though the charge was dismissed. He did not return a call for comment. And at the time of Howell's appearance on 'Good Morning America' there was a warrant out for her arrest resulting from her allegedly breaking into her estranged husband's home and destroying property."

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Will: Now, Defining Decency Down - Newsweek George F. Will -

Will: Now, Defining Decency Down - Newsweek George F. Will - "Craig's unraveling involved a sadness almost unfathomable to anyone who has not felt it necessary to live, as he seems to have done for years, disguising one's nature. The fact that Craig deepened his misery with an absurd 'explanation' that was, in its way, lewd increased the duty to feel compassion for him. But the presidential candidate he supported quickly pounced, issuing a statement devoid of human sympathy. Craig, said Mitt Romney, seizing yet another opportunity to stroke social conservatives, 'reminds us of Mark Foley and Bill Clinton' and, 'frankly, it's disgusting.'"

Will: Now, Defining Decency Down - Newsweek George F. Will -

Will: Now, Defining Decency Down - Newsweek George F. Will - "And speaking of the tone-deaf, Alberto Gonzales could not even leave high office without advertising his unfitness for it. As he habitually has done, he reminded the nation that he has 'lived the American Dream,' which he evidently thinks is epitomized by his success in attaching himself to a politician not known for demanding quality in assistants. Gonzales then demonstrated how uncomprehending he is of essential American values. He said: 'Even my worst days as attorney general have been better than my father's best days.' Story continues below ↓advertisement Well. His father married and had eight children—nine wonderful days, days even better, one would have thought, than any of the days his son spent floundering at the Justice Department. Furthermore, Gonzales's father had the fulfillment of a lifetime spent providing for his family. But what is any of that, Gonzales implies, compared with the satisfaction of occupying, however unsatisfactorily, a high office? This implicit disparagement of his father's life of responsibility and self-sufficiency turns conservatism inside out. It is going to take conservatism a while to recuperate from becoming associated with such people."

Sunday, September 02, 2007

BlogActive: Real Truth, Direct Action

BlogActive: Real Truth, Direct Action: "Today, Larry Craig apologized to everyone except the people he has most harmed by his actions -- gay Americans. His legacy will include his career-long work in opposing basic civil rights for gay and lesbian Americans, creating an atmosphere where it is unsafe for many to be honest about their lives. Those in American politics who use anti-gay sentiments for political purposes must learn from this experience and reconsider their divisive tactics. Politicians like Larry Craig have helped to create a society that drives many men and women into the closet. Larry Craig's arrest, when coupled with the hypocrisy of seeking sexual encounters from the very men he actively legislates against, becomes merely the catalyst to expose the dishonesty and secrecy of anti-gay politicians who expect a community to harbor its own enemies within. The time when politicians can stand with one foot on the platform of homophobia and the other in the closet has come to an end."

James Fallows (September 02, 2007) - Bush on disbanding the Iraqi military

James Fallows (September 02, 2007) - Bush on disbanding the Iraqi military:

"Mr. Bush acknowledged one major failing of the early occupation of Iraq when he said of disbanding the Saddam Hussein-era military, “The policy was to keep the army intact; didn’t happen.” But when Mr. Draper pointed out that Mr. Bush’s former Iraq administrator, L. Paul Bremer III, had gone ahead and forced the army’s dissolution and then asked Mr. Bush how he reacted to that, Mr. Bush said, “Yeah, I can’t remember, I’m sure I said, ‘This is the policy, what happened?’ ” But, he added, “Again, Hadley’s got notes on all of this stuff,” referring to Stephen J. Hadley, his national security adviser.
Think about this. The dissolution of the Iraq military is one of the six most-criticized and most-often-discussed aspects of the Administration's entire approach to Iraq. (Others: the decision to invade at all; the assessment of WMD; the size of the initial invasion-and-occupation force; the decision not to stop the looting of Baghdad; and the operation of Abu Ghraib.) And the President who has staked the fortunes of his Administration, his party, his place in history, and (come to think of it ) his nation on the success of his Iraq policy cannot remember and even now cannot be bothered to find out how the decision was made. "