Sunday, December 23, 2007

A Little Holiday Gift

Patti Labelle, Mavis Staples, Little Richard and Billy Preston sing "You'll Never Walk Alone". Have a great Christmas!

Monday, December 03, 2007

When can you find a headline like this one? When GOP Senator "Lavvy" Craig is involved!


From Radar Online

It's A Sausage Party for "Not Gay" Slut Senator Larry Craig

It's raining men: Four men, including a former prostitute who also snuggled with the Rev. Ted Haggard, come forward and describe sexual encounters with Senator Larry "I am not gay" Craig. Haggard will offer Craig tips on using God to cure his homosexuality. (And HJ techniques.)

Update: It's now eight men spilling the beans. Uh-oh!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Autumn at FHP Headquarters

The Acer Palmatum Japonica (Japanese Maple according to my late friend Stephen the horticulturalist) is stunning right now in its fall colors.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Tucker Carlson is an idiot

Watch Dennis Kucinich school this moron in the constitutionality of impeachment. Carlson is such an embarassment for MSNBC. How long will we have to suffer through him?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Virulently Anti-Gay Washington State Politician in Gay-Sex Scandal

I love the smell of scandal in the air!

From the Columbian Newspaper in Washington State:

Tuesday, October 30, 2007 By JEFFREY MIZE, Columbian Staff Writer

State Rep. Richard Curtis, R-La Center, (Republican... it figures...) admitted to having sex with a man he met at an adult video store in Spokane last week, according to a police report released Tuesday afternoon.
The police report offers a damning and far different version of events from the brief account Curtis gave to The Columbian Monday, one that seems likely to threaten Curtis’ political future. The report is filled with graphic details of an encounter that began at a porn store on a Spokane Valley strip and concluded miles away in Curtis’ room at the city’s poshest hotel.

The police report contains an account of how Curtis allegedly donned women’s clothing, red stockings and a black sequined lingerie top before engaging in a sex act at the store. He continued to wear them throughout the night under his clothing.

Spokane police have finished their investigation and referred the case to the prosecutors for possible filing of extortion charges against Cody M. Castagna.
Castagna is a 26-year-old waiter from the Spokane area who allegedly tried to blackmail Curtis for $1,000 and threatened to reveal his “gay lifestyle” to the lawmaker’s wife if he did not pay.

Curtis, 48, is married and has two daughters. The two-term legislator and retired fire department captain was in Spokane last week for a retreat with other Republican lawmakers in preparation for the 2008 Legislature.
During a brief phone interview with Columbian Editor Lou Brancaccio Monday afternoon, Curtis said he did not have sex with the man and is not gay. According to the police report, Curtis allegedly offered to pay $1,000 to have unprotected sex with Castagna. “I feel that, honestly, I’m being wrongly accused and that (Curtis) is using his power to take it off of him and put it on me,” Castagna told reporters during a press conference Tuesday. “He has completely changed what actually happened and turned it around for his favor.” “He didn’t make any threats against this guy (Curtis),” added Castanga’s attorney, David Partovi. “This is an extremely a low-level situation that’s being blown out of proportion by somebody who is trying to save themselves.”

Curtis did not return calls seeking comment Tuesday. He initially told police that he did not have sex with the man but later recanted, according to the police report. He also told police that he thought he might have been given some type of drug because his memory of the evening was hazy.
After the two men apparently had sex, Castagna allegedly left the hotel room with Curtis’ wallet, the report says. Curtis agreed to give the man $200, which he left at his hotel’s desk, only to be confronted with a demand for an additional $800, the report says. Spokane Police Detective Tim Madsen wrote in his report that Curtis wanted to keep the whole incident quiet. At one point, Madsen told Curtis that “the toothpaste was already out of the tube.” “Curtis told me he was just trying to put the cap back on the tube,” Madsen wrote. “I told Curtis that the suspect may victimize other people in the future, and Curtis acknowledged that part of his job was to protect people in the state of Washington. … Curtis said he wished he would have just paid the additional money to the suspect because he didn’t wish the case to be prosecuted. If the incident became public, it could cost him his marriage and career.”

Madsen, in his report, said Castagna told him that Curtis wouldn’t say what he did for a living.
“I work to help people out,” Curtis reportedly said, before adding, “If I told you, I’d have to kill you.” Castagna said Curtis told him that “his wife knew he liked men when they got married, but she was not into that, so he only did that when he was out of town,” the detective wrote in his report.

The entire incident might have never come to light if Curtis hadn’t contacted Sgt. Roy Rhine of the Washington State Patrol. Rhine, who works out of the patrol’s Southwest Washington office, is a fellow Republican who has run for the state Legislature.
According to a Madsen’s report, Curtis contacted a friend in the Washington State Patrol and wanted the agency to investigate “because the local police would talk and it would get out to the press.” The WSP referred the case back to local officials.

The police report and court filings say that Curtis met Castagna at a Hollywood Erotic Boutique store at about 12:45 a.m. Friday and later rendezvoused at Curtis’ room at the Davenport Tower Hotel at about 3:35 a.m.
As part of their investigation, Spokane police have seized video recordings from the hotel and the sex shop, computerized records of when Curtis’ hotel room door was opened and closed, and hotel records purportedly showing the rental of gay porn movies by someone in Curtis’ room.

Castagna’s Web page indicates that he is gay. A search for Castagna in court records turned up a number of cases in Spokane and King County on a variety of charges. Most cases were in juvenile court and involved charges of assault, theft, burglary and malicious mischief.
As an adult, court records showed that Castagna pleaded guilty in 2001 to a forgery charge and was sentenced to two months in jail and 12 months in community custody.

Partovi said he called the press conference Tuesday due to the severity of the charges being considered against his client.
“Extortion is a violent Class B felony. It starts with a serious jail sentence, and this guy (Castagna) didn’t do anything wrong — at that level, anyway,” Partovi said.

The Hits Keep On Comin'"

More conservative Christian Values Voter News:

Catholic School Principal "Hooked" as Woman

Can you believe it? Yet another conservative sex scandal!? Just when we were getting over cross-dressing Richard Curtisresignation comes news of Catholic principal Paul Schum
hustling his junk in fishnets.

Via Smoking Gun:

Meet Paul Schum. The Kentucky man, a Catholic school principal, is facing a prostitution charge after Louisville police found him dressed like a woman and loitering in an alley Tuesday night. According to a criminal citation, a copy of which you’ll find here, Schum, 50, was wearing fishnet stockings, fake breasts, and “all black leather” when officers discovered him “loitering in high drug trafficking and prostitution area.” The citation notes that Schum, who heads Bethlehem High School, had “no reason for why he was in alley…dressed up in women’s leather other than for prostitution.” Schum, now on paid leave from his school post, is due in court on November 27 to answer a misdemeanor charge of loitering for the intent of prostitution.

We wonder what anti-gay Catholic League leader Bill Donohue would have to say about this one.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Contessa di Pomidori & I Make Vinegar Peppers

Sally Tomatoes and I recently had our 2nd Annual Vinegar Peppers canning day at Castello di Pomidori. We each ended up with 18 jars.

We use what Sally calls "Cheese Peppers" AKA Saint Nicholas Peppers (Red & Green) or Bull-Nose Peppers

Ready for the peppers!

A hot bath anyone?

These really are good. We use them for Sausage & Peppers, Pork Chops and Peppers, sandwiches and salads.


Me... Hard at work...

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Jeopardy... The Giuliani Edition

For Rudy Giuliani, 9/11 is the answer. To almost anything, it seems.

After all, it's why America fell in love with him on that darkest of days, when the mayor was the only person on TV reassuring the nation. It's why he's the Republican front-runner for President.

"For me, every day is an anniversary of Sept. 11," he said in Florida last month.

Giuliani wastes no opportunity to bring up 9/11 on the campaign trail. Sometimes, it looks like a stretch.

Here is "Jeopardy, the Giuliani Edition," where 9/11 is always the answer, but the questions may surprise you:


"There are some major intervening events - Sept. 11 - which cast somewhat of a different light on the Second Amendment."

- Giuliani's September speech to the NRA


"Since Sept. 11, most of the time when we get on a plane we talk to each other and just reaffirm the fact that we love each other"

- September interview with CBN News


"I support security at the borders. I think security is enormously important in the post-Sept. 11 period. I think we have to know who's coming into this country."

February interview with Fox News


"Each time I wear it, it reminds me of Sept. 11."

- July rally in Wilmington, Del.


"I don't want to promise you the federal government will take over the role. My general experience has been that the federal government works best when it helps and assists and encourages and sets guidelines on a state-by-state, locality-by-locality basis. It's no different from the way I look at homeland security. Maybe having been mayor of the city, I know that your first defense against terrorist attack is that local police station, or that local firehouse."

- July rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa


"I need God's help for everything, and I probably feel that the most when I'm in crisis and under pressure, like Sept. 11, when I was dealing with prostate cancer, or when I'm trying to explain death to people."

- September interview with CBN News.


"They do not seem to get the fact that there are people - terrorists in this world, really dangerous people - that want to come here and kill us. That in fact they did come here and kill us."

- May interview with Fox News


"You can judge me on my public record. I've had a long one. I've had an intense one. I've been under enormous pressure, took over a city that was the crime capital of America, had to handle the city at the very end, when it was part of the worst attack on America."

- May interview with Fox News


$9.11 was the answer a couple of Giuliani volunteers in California came up with as a suggested contribution for a fund- raising party. Giuliani said, "I think they made a mistake."

---Thanks to the NY Daily News for this one---

A Visitor From The West Coast

Senorita Cosa y su Perro Microscopico, Micky Miho arrived on her broom and have landed at her old haunt Shelly Shores. I'll have updates as soon as I can.

Bienvenida Querida!

I Didn't Care Much About Football In My Early Years

Am I missing something?

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Friday, October 05, 2007

You Can't Make This Stuff Up!

From Crooks and Liars

I swear you can’t write this stuff, but guess what (GOP Senator) Larry Craig’s favorite recipe is? A Super Tuber. A baked potato with a hot dog crammed inside.

I also read a post where Lavvy was referred to as Senator Tappy McWidestance.


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Another headline you would pay to have drop in your lap...


Anti-Gay Penis-Pumping Judge Loses Appeal

(Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has upheld the conviction of a former judge who was caught using a penis pump in court as he was presiding over a trial.

Former District Judge Donald Thompson was sentenced in August 2006 to
four years in prison on four counts of indecent exposure.

Thompson appealed, arguing that during his trial the pump should not have been allowed into evidence. He claimed in the appeal that the pump was severely damaged and the trial judge should not have allowed to be demonstrated in court "as if it did work."

The Court of Appeals ruled that a "sufficient chain of custody was established for admission of a penis pump."

Thompson, a Republican who had sat on the bench for 23 years, was charged in 2005 with three felony counts of indecent exposure after a court reporter complained to authorities that he was using the pump in her full view. (story)

At the time, Thompson was presiding over a murder trial. Thompson had a reputation for handing out stiff sentences. He once tried to send a man to prison for life for spitting on a police officer.

Prior to becoming the Republican judge he served six years in the state House of Representatives starting in 1975 where he frequently spoke out against gays.Thompson was removed from the bench while the allegations against him were investigated. The charges were laid by Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson in an official complaint.

Thompson was caught in the act on numerous occasions by the court
clerk and trial witnesses the complaint said.

Thompson allegedly shaved his pubic area, applied lube, and slipped on the pump, using it until he climaxed.

Penis pumps are reputed to enhance the size of the organ and are often used in masturbation.The complaint also said that Thompson, 57, masturbated on a number of occasions in full view of Lisa K. Foster, Thompson's court reporter for 15 years.

Foster said she first started hearing a noise that “sounded like a blood pressure cuff being pumped up.” Foster told investigators she witnessed the judge’s sexual behavior “fifteen to twenty times.”

Thompson fired her after hearing she had cooperated with the investigation into his misconduct. At trial, Judge C. Allen McCall rejected motions to suppress the pump, prevent the jury from hearing testimony that a second "penis pump" was seen under Thompson's bench, and block the jury from hearing about 180 hours of courtroom tapes that contained the whooshing sound of the penis pump in use.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

GOP Senator convicted in gay toilet-sex sting will have to wait for verdict on his appeal

If you ever wanted to see an example of "schadenfreude" have a look at this:

From The Idaho Statesman:
MINNEAPOLIS -- Sen. Larry Craig's lawyers appeared in court Wednesday afternoon seeking to overturn his guilty plea in a men's room sex sting. But a judge made no immediate decision, saying he would issue a ruling no sooner than the end of next week.

In a half-hour hearing, Hennepin County District Judge Charles A. Porter Jr. questioned Craig's Washington, D.C. defense lawyer, Billy Martin, repeatedly about Martin's interpretation of disorderly conduct and Craig's actions. Craig pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct after an undercover police officer arrested him June 11, saying Craig had solicited sex from him in a men's room at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport.

This is a man who voted to deny rights of American citizens to marry who they wished, to deny Americans the right to serve openly in the military, and to allow employers to discriminate against American citizens, simply because they are gay, lesbian, transgendered or bisexual. If you are feeling that little twinge of "it serves him right to be going through this"... that's schadenfreude.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

What it feels like to be a girl

I just saw the craziest video of an intern at a web site called Jezebel who has been given the dubious task of going through a bikini wax... AND they have a video of it! Click on the link to see it if you dare (No nudity) Click Here

Monday, September 03, 2007

Cape Cod Labor Day Weekend

We decided to take our weekend guests to the Drummer Boy Park in Brewster for the last of the season band concert. The evening was beautiful, the guests and conversation was a lot of fun and the food was (if I do say so myself) yummy. Here are a few photos...


Steve and Jessica

Lobster Salad

The Bandstand

(Thanks for taking the photo Hilary!)

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Red State Update, Travis & Jonathan on Sen. "Lavvy" Craig, R-ID

Travis & Jonathan over at have a few comments on the men's toilet predilections of our favorite sex-crazed solon. Enjoy!

Just the facts, Ma'am!

Keith Olberman did an hilarious Dragnet-style re-enactment of Sen. "Lavvy" Craig, R-ID's arrest in the men's toilet at the Minneapolis airport. Hold onto your sides... it's hilarious!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sen. Craig's Trick Spills The Beans

Senator Larry Craig, R-ID, as you may have heard, has been caught "allegedly" soliciting sex in a "tea room" (public bathroom) from an undercover (male) police officer in the Minneapolis airport. The Senator, whose rating on HRC's list of gay positive representatives based on their voting records is 0%, has been a vehemently anti-gay in his rhetoric and voting record. Another "family-values" hypocrite has gotten his due.

Take a listen to this recording of an interview between a reporter for the Idaho Statesman and a 40 year old man who said he had sex with the Senator in a tea room at Washington DC's Union Station. Incredible!!

Friday, August 24, 2007

"Traditional Marriage" gets a Gay history lesson...

A study in the September issue of Journal of Modern History indicates that same-sex marriages may have existed as early as the 16th century.

Allan A. Tulchin asserts that the French and other European cultures may have supported - and, in fact, sponsored - arrangements similar to same-sex unions. The arrangements, called affrèrement (which translates to brotherment) closely resemble modern marriage contracts. Tulchin explains:

All of their goods usually became the joint property of both parties, and each commonly became the other’s legal heir. They also frequently testified that they entered into the contract because of their affection for one another. As with all contracts, affrèrements had to be sworn before a notary and required witnesses, commonly the friends of the affrèrés… [There is] considerable evidence that the affrèrés were using affrèrements to formalize same-sex loving relationships…They loved each other, and the community accepted that.

There’s been a “radical shift in attitudes” between the age of affrèrement and today, says Tulchin, when anti-gay marriage activists espouse the Biblical origins of the nuclear family.

Could this knock a hole in “traditionalist’s” arguments or will they continue to ignore the compelling evidence? Take a wild guess…

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Hilarious... and frightening at the same time

Just Because...

I thought I'd post a photo of my role model in the business world. It used to be Alexis Colby, but not any more. Just between you and me... I think that Alexis is a bit of a bitch!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Let's File This One Under "Odd"

British dwarf's penis gets stuck to hoover

Mon Aug 20, 3:50 PM ET

A dwarf performer at the Edinburgh fringe festival had to be rushed to hospital after his penis got stuck to a vacuum cleaner during an act that went horribly awry. Daniel Blackner, or "Captain Dan the Demon Dwarf", was due to perform at the Circus of Horrors at the festival known for its oddball, offbeat performances.

The main part of his act saw him appear on stage with a vacuum cleaner attached to his member through a special attachment. The attachment broke before the performance and Blackner tried to fix it using extra-strong glue, but unfortunately only let it dry for 20 seconds instead of the 20 minutes required. He then joined it directly to his organ. The end result? A solid attachment, laughter, mortification and ... hospitalisation.

"It was the most embarrassing moment of my life when I got wheeled into a packed AE with a vacuum attached to me," Blackner said. "I just wished the ground could swallow me up. Luckily, they saw me quickly so the embarrassment was short-lived."

Friday, August 17, 2007

Provincetown Carnivale Parade 2007

We headed down to Provincetown again for the annual Provincetown Carnivale Parade and it did not disappoint. We really had a wonderful time. Below are some "snaps" of the fun...

The Fabulous Hat Sisters

Nothing Unusual Here

There seemed to be an abundance of Tulle de France in evidence...

... For example...

"Hef" made an appearance with bunnies from his mansion

Our friend Michelle made a guest appearance holding up the Pride flag.

Also, ageing porn star (I'm sure he'd like that if he read it here) Jeff Stryker brought along a friend for the festivities

That madcap Miss Richfield, 1981 was hilarious as usual

And what drag parade would be complete without "Cher"?

Friday, August 10, 2007

Democratic Presidential Candidates Forum on LGBT Issues

Last night on Logo TV the Democratic Party's candidates for President came together to answer questions of interest to the LGBT community. There were very few surprises (if any) in what the candidates said on the issues of same-sex marriage, DOMA, DADT and transgendered rights. One of the candidates, Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico actually made a huge screw up of his opportunity by saying that he thought homosexuality was a choice rather than something you are born as. He literally imploded right on the screen. He realized it when he was finished as displayed by his hurried exit from the stage after his "turn".

Below are the candidates appearances at the forum courtesy of CBS/LOGO.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Buzzy in a Bi-Plane

Well, Mr. B traveling in Europe got to get a close up look at a bi-plane. Goggles and all!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Some Photos From The Sandwich, MA July 4th Parade

The Sandwich Democratic Town Committee was well represented in the town's July 4th parade, apparently much more so than the Republicans who have strangled Sandwich for these many years. Good to see the "Dems" taking the lead.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Apparently Crime DOES Pay

  • Harry Reid: "The President's decision to commute Mr. Libby's sentence is disgraceful."
  • Nancy Pelosi: "The President’s commutation of Scooter Libby’s prison sentence does not serve justice, condones criminal conduct, and is a betrayal of trust of the American people."
  • John Edwards: "Only a president clinically incapable of understanding that mistakes have consequences could take the action he did today."
  • Barak Obama: "This decision to commute the sentence of a man who compromised our national security cements the legacy of an Administration characterized by a politics of cynicism and division, one that has consistently placed itself and its ideology above the law."
  • Hillary Clinton: "Today's decision is yet another example that this Administration simply considers itself above the law."

Thursday, June 28, 2007

File Under "Don't Ask If You Already Know The Answer"

Are they putting truth serum in the water coolers in Scarborough Country??

A Brilliant Speech

From Washington Monthly Magazine:

The New Vision by Theodore Sorensen

On the 15th of July, 1960, Senator John F. Kennedy accepted his party’s presidential nomination at the Democratic Convention in Los Angeles. In his remarks, made at a moment of high tension in the cold war, Kennedy asserted that the United States was at “a turning point in history” and called on his listeners to be “pioneers” in a “New Frontier” of “uncharted areas of science and space, unsolved problems of peace and war, unconquered pockets of ignorance and prejudice, unanswered questions of poverty and surplus.”

Collaborating with Kennedy on the speech was a thirty-two-year-old aide named Theodore C. Sorensen, to whom Kennedy was known to refer as his “intellectual blood bank.” With Sorensen’s help, Kennedy would earn a reputation as one of American history’s great orators and provide a bold new vision for the nation.

Today, we are at another moment of high tension, the result of a disastrous war abroad and division and drift at home. Like Kennedy, the next Democratic nominee, whoever he or she might be, will have a similar opportunity to form a new vision for America and to reestablish its moral leadership in the world. To encourage such boldness of thinking, we, too, tapped Kennedy’s intellectual blood bank. We called Theodore C. Sorensen and asked him to write the speech he would most want the next Democratic nominee to give at the party convention in Denver in August 2008. We requested that he proceed with no candidate in mind and that he give no consideration to expediency or tactics—in other words, that he write the speech of his dreams. Here is the speech he sent us.

My fellow Democrats: With high resolve and deep gratitude, I accept your nomination.

It has been a long campaign—too long, too expensive, with too much media attention on matters irrelevant to our nation’s future. I salute each of my worthy opponents for conducting a clean fifty-state campaign focusing on the real issues facing our nation, including health care, the public debt burden, energy independence, and national security, a campaign testing not merely which of us could raise and spend the most money but who among us could best lead our country; a campaign not ignoring controversial issues like taxation, immigration, fuel conservation, and the Middle East, but conducting, in essence, a great debate—because our party, unlike our opposition, believes that a free country is strengthened by debate.

There will be more debates this fall. I hereby notify my Republican opponent that I have purchased ninety minutes of national network television time for each of the six Sunday evenings preceding the presidential election, and here and now invite and challenge him to share that time with me to debate the most serious issues facing the country, under rules to be agreed upon by our respective designees meeting this week with a neutral jointly selected statesman.

Let me assure all those who may disagree with my positions that I shall hear and respect their views, not denounce them as unpatriotic as has so often happened in recent years. I will wage a campaign that relies not on the usual fear, smear, and greed but on the hopes and pride of all our citizens in a nationwide effort to restore comity, common sense, and competence to the White House.

In this campaign, I will make no promises I cannot fulfill, pledge no spending we cannot afford, offer no posts to cronies you cannot trust, and propose no foreign commitment we should not keep. I will not shrink from opposing any party faction, any special interest group, or any major donor whose demands are contrary to the national interest. Nor will I shrink from calling myself a liberal, in the same sense that Franklin and Theodore Roosevelt, John and Robert Kennedy, and Harry Truman were liberals—liberals who proved that government is not a necessary evil, but rather the best means of creating a healthier, more educated, and more prosperous America.

They are the giants on whose shoulders I now stand, giants who made this a better, fairer, safer, stronger, more united America.

By making me your nominee, you have placed your trust in the American people to put aside irrelevant considerations and judge me solely on my qualifications to lead the nation. You have opened the stairway to what Teddy Roosevelt called the “bully pulpit.” With the help of dedicated Americans from our party, every party, and no party at all, I intend to mount that stairway to preach peace for our nation and world.

My campaign will be based on my search for the perfect political consensus, not the perfect political consultant. My chief political consultant will be my conscience.

Thank you for your applause, but I need more than your applause and approval. I need your prayers, your votes, your help, your heart, and your hand. The challenge is enormous, the obstacles are many. Our nation is emerging from eight years of misrule, a dark and difficult period in which our national honor and pride have been bruised and battered. But we are neither beaten nor broken. We are not helpless or afraid; because in this country the people rule, and the people want change.

True, some of us have been sleeping for these eight long years, while our nation’s values have been traduced, our liberties reduced, and our moral authority around the world trampled and shattered by a nightmare of ideological incompetence. But now we are awakening and taking our country back. Now people all across America are starting to believe in America again. We are coming back, back to the heights of greatness, back to America’s proud role as a temple of justice and a champion of peace.

The American people are tired of politics as usual, and I intend to offer them, in this campaign, something unusual in recent American politics: the truth. Neither bureaucracies nor nations function well when their actions are hidden from public view and accountability. From now on, whatever mistakes I make, whatever dangers we face, the people shall know the truth—and the truth shall make them free. After eight years of secrecy and mendacity, here are some truths the people deserve to hear:

We remain essentially a nation under siege. The threat of another terrorist attack upon our homeland has not been reduced by all the new layers of porous bureaucracy that proved their ineptitude in New Orleans; nor by all the needless, mindless curbs on our personal liberties and privacy; nor by expensive new weaponry that is utterly useless in stopping a fanatic willing to blow himself up for his cause. Indeed, our vulnerability to another attack has only been worsened in the years since the attacks of September 11th—worsened by our government convincing more than 1 billion Muslims that we are prejudiced against their faith, dismissive of international law, and indifferent to the deaths of their innocent children; worsened by our failure to understand their culture or to provide a safe haven for the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees displaced by a war we started; worsened by our failure to continue our indispensable role in the Middle East peace process.

We have adopted some of the most indefensible tactics of our enemies, including torture and indefinite detention.

We have degraded our military.

We have treated our most serious adversaries, such as Iran and North Korea, in the most juvenile manner—by giving them the silent treatment. In so doing, we have weakened, not strengthened, our bargaining position and our leadership.

At home, as health care costs have grown and coverage disappeared, we have done nothing but coddle the insurance, pharmaceutical, and health care industries that feed the problem.

As global warming worsens, we have done nothing but deny the obvious and give regulatory favors to polluters.

As growing economic inequality tarnishes our democracy, we have done nothing but carve out more tax breaks for the rich.

During these last several years, our nation has been bitterly divided and deceived by illicit actions in high places, by violations of federal, constitutional, and international law. I do not favor further widening the nation’s wounds, now or next year, through continuous investigations, indictments, and impeachments. I am confident that history will hold these malefactors accountable for their deeds, and the country will move on.

Instead, I shall seek a renewal of unity among all Americans, an unprecedented unity we will need for years to come in order to face unprecedented danger.

We will be safer from terrorist attack only when we have earned the respect of all other nations instead of their fear, respect for our values and not merely our weapons.

If I am elected president, my vow for this country can be summarized in one short, simple word: change. This November 2008 election—the first since 1952 in which neither the incumbent president’s nor the incumbent vice president’s name will appear on the national ballot, indeed the first since 1976 in which the name of neither Bill Clinton nor George Bush will appear on the national ballot—is destined to bring about the most profound change in the direction of this country since the election of 1932.

To meet the threats we face and restore our place of leadership in the free world, I pledge to do the following:

First, working with a representative Iraqi parliament, I shall set a timetable for an orderly, systematic redeployment and withdrawal of all our troops in Iraq, including the recall of all members of the National Guard to their primary responsibility of guarding our nation and its individual states.

Second, this redeployment shall be only the first step in a comprehensive regional economic and diplomatic stabilization plan for the entire Middle East, building a just and enduring peace between Israel and Palestine, halting the killing and maiming of innocent civilians on both sides, and establishing two independent sovereign states, each behind peacefully negotiated and mutually recognized borders.

Third, I shall as soon as possible transfer all inmates out of the Guantanamo Bay prison and close down that hideous symbol of injustice.

Fourth, I shall fly to New York City to pledge in person to the United Nations, in the September 2009 General Assembly, that the United States is returning to its role as a leader in international law, as a supporter of international tribunals, and as a full-fledged member of the United Nations which will pay its dues in full, on time, and without conditions, renouncing any American empire; that we shall work more intensively with other countries to eliminate global scourges, including AIDS, malaria, and other contagious diseases, massive refugee flows, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; and that we will support the early dispatch of United Nations peacekeepers to halt the atrocities in Darfur. I shall make it clear that we do not covet the land of other countries for our military bases or the control of their natural resources for our factories. I shall make it clear that our country is not bound by any policies or pronouncements of my predecessor that violate international law or threaten international peace.

Fifth, I shall personally sign the Kyoto Protocol, and seek its ratification by the United States Senate, in order to stop global warming before it endangers all species on earth, including our own; and I shall call upon the Congress to take action dramatically reducing our nation’s reliance on the carbon fuels that are steadily contributing to the degradation of our environment.

Sixth, I shall demonstrate sufficient confidence in the strength of our values and the wisdom and skill of our diplomats to favor communications, negotiations, and full relations with every country on earth, including Cuba, North Korea, Palestine, and Iran.

Finally, I shall restore the constitutional right of habeas corpus, abolish the unconstitutional tapping of private phones, and once again show the world the traditional American values that distinguish us from those who attacked us on 9/11.

We need not renounce the use of conventional force. We will be ready to repel any clear and present danger that poses a genuine threat to our national security and survival. But it will be as a last resort, never a first; in cooperation with our allies, never alone; out of necessity, never by choice; proportionate, never heedless of civilian lives or international law; as the best alternative considered, never the only. We will always apply the same principles of collective security, prudent caution, and superior weaponry that enabled us to peacefully prevail in the long cold war against the Soviet Union. Above all, we shall wage no more unilateral, ill-planned, ill-considered, and ill-prepared invasions of foreign countries that pose no actual threat to our security. No more wars in which the American Congress is not told in advance and throughout their duration the true cost, consequences, and terms of commitment. No more wars waged by leaders blinded by ideology who have no legal basis to start them and no plan to end them. We shall oppose no peaceful religion or culture, insult or demonize no peace-minded foreign leader, and spare no effort in meeting those obligations of leadership and assistance that our comparative economic strength has thrust upon us. We shall listen, not lecture; learn, not threaten. We will enhance our safety by earning the respect of others and showing respect for them. In short, our foreign policy will rest on the traditional American values of restraint and empathy, not on military might.

In the final analysis, our nation cannot be secure around the world unless our citizens are secure at home—secure not only from external attack, but secure as well from the rising tide of national debt, secure from the financial and physical ravages of uninsured disease, secure from discrimination in our schools and neighborhoods, secure from the bitter unrest generated by a widening gap between our richest and poorest citizens. They are not secure in a country lacking reasonable limitations on the sale of handguns to criminals, the mentally disturbed, and prospective terrorists. And our citizens are not secure when some of their fellow citizens, loyal Islamic Americans, are made to feel they are the targets of hysteria or bigotry.

I believe in an America in which the fruits of productivity and prosperity are shared by all, by workers as well as owners, by those at the bottom as well as those at the top; an America in which the sacrifices required by national security are shared by all, by profiteers in the back offices as well as volunteers on the front lines.

In my administration, I shall restore balance and fairness to the national tax system. I shall level the playing field for organized labor. I shall end the unseemly favors to corporations that allow them to profit without competing, for it is through competition that we innovate, and it is through innovation that we raise the wages of our workers. It shames our nation that profits for corporations have soared even as wages for average Americans have fallen. It shames us still more that so many African American men must struggle to find jobs.

We will make sure that no American citizen, from the youngest child to the oldest retiree, and especially no returning serviceman or military veteran, will be denied fully funded medical care of the highest quality.

To pay for these domestic programs, my administration will make sure that subsidies and tax breaks go only to those who need them most, not those who need them least, and that we fund only those weapons systems we need to meet the threats of today and tomorrow, not those of yesterday.

The purpose of public office is to do good, not harm; to change lives, help lives, and save lives, not destroy them. I look upon the presidency not as an opportunity to rule, but as an opportunity to serve. I intend to serve all the people, regardless of party, race, region, or religion.

Let us all, here assembled in this hall, or watching at home, constitute ourselves, rededicate ourselves, as soldiers in a new army. Not an army of death and destruction, but a new army of voters and volunteers, in a new wave of workers for peace and justice at home and abroad, new missionaries for the moral rebirth of our country. I ask for every citizen’s help, not merely those who live in the red states or those who live in the blue states, but every citizen in every state. Although we may be called fools and dreamers, although we will find the going uphill, in the words of the poet: “Say not the struggle naught availeth.” We will change our country’s direction, and hand to the generation that follows a nation that is safer, cleaner, less divided, and less fearful than the nation we will inherit next January.

I’m told that John F. Kennedy was fond of quoting Archimedes, who explained the principle of the lever by declaring: “Give me a place to stand, and I can move the world.” My fellow Americans—here I stand. Come join me, and together we will move the world to a new era of a just and lasting peace.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Some More Interesting Statistics

Courtesy of Pam's House Blend:

8 of the top 10 states with the highest murder rates are squarely in Red America. 7 of the 10 states with the lowest murder rates were in the Kerry column. (Interestingly, six of those states have no death penalty statute.) The 10 states with the highest divorce rates in 1998 all went for Bush in 2004. Red states constituted 9 on the top 10 in terms of out-of-wedlock births. And the Bible Belt has the greatest percentage of births to women under age 20, with the worst 15 states nationwide all among in the GOP ranks. By almost any measure of societal breakdown that so-called Republican "values voters" decry, it is Red State America where moral failure is greatest.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


The Massachusetts Legislature (House & Senate) in a joint session called the Constitutional Convention have voted down the attempt to place a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage on the state-wide ballot in 2008. This is a serious victory for the rights of all Americans. We at Frenchy's House Party applaud their courage and sensibility. Congratulations to us all!

Monday, May 28, 2007

And One Wonders Why People Tell Polish Jokes...

Poland Investigates Tinky Winky For Homosexuality
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: May 28, 2007 - 4:00 pm ET

(Warsaw) The Polish government has reportedly begun an investigation to determine if Tinky Winky and other Teletubbies are promoting homosexuality to children.

The Reuters news service reported Monday that the government's watchdog for children's rights has asked a panel of psychologists to investigate the popular children's television series. Ewa Sowinska said she was concerned the popular show promoted homosexuality to unsuspecting minors.

Her remarks were immediately likened to those several years ago of the late US evangelist Jerry Falwell who accused Tinky Winky of being gay because he carried a purse. Falwell's remarks were largely dismissed at the time by even most of his evangelical supporters, but Poland's actions are the latest in a series of anti-gay moves that have European civil rights advocates concerned about a potential pogrom.

© 2007

R.I.P. Charles Nelson Reilly

That man has give me so many laughs in my life that I could not let his passing go by without a little tribute at FHP.

Thanks for the fun Charles.

Charles Nelson Reilly, Tony Award-Winning Broadway Actor and Comic, Dies at 76

The Associated Press


Charles Nelson Reilly, the Tony Award winner who later became known for his ribald appearances on the "Tonight Show" and various game shows, has died. He was 76.

Reilly died Friday in Los Angeles of complications from pneumonia, his partner, Patrick Hughes, told the New York Times. Reilly began his career in New York City, taking acting classes at a studio with Steve McQueen, Geraldine Page and Hal Holbrook. In 1962, he appeared on Broadway as Bud Frump in the original Broadway production of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying." The role won Reilly a Tony Award. He was nominated for a Tony again for playing Cornelius in "Hello, Dolly!" In 1997 he received another nomination for directing Julie Harris and Charles Durning in a revival of "The Gin Game."

After moving to Hollywood in 1960s he appeared as the nervous Claymore Gregg on TV's "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" and as a featured guest on "The Dean Martin Show."

He gained fame by becoming what he described as a "game show fixture" in the 1970s and 80s. He was a regular on programs like "Match Game" and "Hollywood Squares," often wearing giant glasses and colorful suits with ascots.

His larger-than-life persona and affinity for double-entendres also landed him on the "Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson more than 95 times. Reilly ruefully admitted his wild game show appearances adversely affected his acting career. "You can't do anything else once you do game shows," he told The Advocate, the national gay magazine, in 2001. "You have no career."

His final work was an autobiographical one-man show, "Save It for the Stage: The Life of Reilly," about his family life growing up in the Bronx. The title grew out of the fact that when he would act out as a child, his mother would often admonish him to "save it for the stage." The stage show was made into the 2006 feature film called "The Life of Reilly." Reilly's openly gay television persona was ahead of its time, and sometimes stood in his way. He recalled a network executive telling him "they don't let queers on television."

Hughes, his only immediate survivor, said Reilly had been ill for more than a year. No memorial plans had been announced.

Yabba-Dabba Science

I am intrigued by this new museum in Kentucky (where else would it be?) known as The Creation Museum. It posits that the Earth was created 6,000 (that's right... six thousand) years ago and that men and dinosaurs roamed the Earth together. An editorial in the LA Times sums it up best:

Yabba-dabba science

Note to would-be Creation Museum visitors: the Earth is round.

May 24, 2007

THE CREATION MUSEUM, a $27-million tourist attraction promoting earth science theories that were popular when Columbus set sail, opens near Cincinnati on Memorial Day. So before the first visitor risks succumbing to the museum's animatronic balderdash — dinosaurs and humans actually coexisted! the Grand Canyon was carved by the great flood described in Genesis! — we'd like to clear up a few things: "The Flintstones" is a cartoon, not a documentary. Fred and Wilma? Those woolly mammoth vacuum cleaners? All make-believe.

Science is under assault, and that calls for bold truths. Here's another: The Earth is round.

The museum, a 60,000-square-foot menace to 21st century scientific advancement, is the handiwork of Answers in Genesis, a leader in the "young Earth" movement. Young Earthers believe the world is about 6,000 years old, as opposed to the 4.5 billion years estimated by the world's credible scientific community. This would be risible if anti-evolution forces were confined to a lunatic fringe, but they are not. Witness the recent revelation that three of the Republican candidates for president do not believe in evolution. Three men seeking to lead the last superpower on Earth reject the scientific consensus on cosmology, thermonuclear dynamics, geology and biology, believing instead that Bamm-Bamm and Dino played together.

Religion and science can coexist. That the Earth is billions of years old is a fact. How the universe came into being and whether it operates by design are matters of faith. The problem is that people who deny science in one realm are unlikely to embrace it in another. Those who cannot accept that climate change may have caused the extinction of dinosaurs 65 million years ago probably don't put much stock in the fact that today it poses grave peril to the Earth as we know it.

Last year, the White House attempted to muzzle NASA's top climatologist after he called for urgent action on global warming, and a presidential appointee in the agency's press office chastised a contractor for mentioning the Big Bang without including the word "theory." The press liaison reportedly wrote in an e-mail: "This is more than a science issue, it is a religious issue. And I would hate to think that young people would only be getting one-half of this debate from NASA."

With the opening of the Creation Museum, young people will be getting another side of the story. Too bad it starts with "Yabba-dabba-doo!

If this doesn't alarm you, it should. The fact that these right wing nuts running for President said that they don't believe in evolution, during a nationally televised debate... where everyone can hear them say it, shows just how dangerous these people are. Just think about that one for a while.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

File Under Poetic Justice

A bird stopped by the President's Rose Garden "presser" and gave him a piece of his mind...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mr. B

We had a little Sunday dinner to celebrate Mr. B's birthday the other day. Bob, Tobin, Sal and Hillary came over to have lunch and a piece of cappuccino mousse cake in honor of the occasion. I think Buzzy enjoyed it...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Washington Post on the Gonzales "Coverup"

The Gonzales Coverup
Congress must find out what the administration was doing that its own lawyers wouldn't approve.

Thursday, May 17, 2007; A16

WHY IS IT only now that the disturbing story of the Bush administration's willingness to override the legal advice of its own Justice Department is emerging? The chief reason is that the administration, in the person of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, stonewalled congressional inquiries and did its best to ensure that the shameful episode never came to light.

In February 2006, the Senate Judiciary Committee was inquiring into the warrantless wiretapping program whose existence had been revealed just two months before. Sketchy details had also begun to emerge of the March 2004 hospital room ambush, in which Mr. Gonzales, then the White House counsel, and then-White House chief of staff Andrew H. Card Jr. tried to browbeat the gravely ill Attorney General John D. Ashcroft, who had temporarily yielded his office to his deputy, into approving the warrantless surveillance program.

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), who was then chairing the Judiciary Committee, got Mr. Gonzales to agree to have Mr. Ashcroft testify. But when Mr. Specter followed up with a letter asking as well that the department approve the appearance of former deputy attorney general James B. Comey, Mr. Gonzales balked.

If called to testify, Mr. Ashcroft and Mr. Comey wouldn't be allowed to reveal "confidential Executive Branch information," William E. Moschella, an assistant attorney general, wrote to Mr. Specter. "In light of their inability to discuss such confidential information . . . we do not believe that Messrs. Ashcroft and Comey would be in a position to provide any new information to the committee."

If you were Mr. Gonzales, you'd certainly want to make sure they stayed quiet. Consider: Mr. Gonzales, as the president's lawyer, went to the hospital room of a man so ill he had temporarily relinquished his authority. There, Mr. Gonzales tried to persuade Mr. Ashcroft to override the views of the attorney general's own legal counsel. When the attorney general refused, Mr. Gonzales apparently took part in a plan to go forward with a program that the Justice Department had refused to certify as legal.

Then, when part of the story became public, Mr. Gonzales resorted to word-parsing. "[W]ith respect to what the president has confirmed, I believe -- I do not believe that these DOJ officials that you're identifying had concerns about this program," he said.

Mr. Gonzales's lack of candor is no longer surprising. What's critical here is that lawmakers get a full picture of what happened, obtaining whatever documents -- Office of Legal Counsel opinions -- and testimony are necessary, behind closed doors if need be. "Jim Comey gave his side of what transpired that day," White House press secretary Tony Snow said yesterday. If there's another side to the story, we'd like to hear it.

What was the administration doing, and what was it willing to continue to do, that its lawyers concluded was without a legal basis? Without an answer to that fundamental question, the coverup will have succeeded.

Jonathan Alter on Jerry Falwell

Mr. Alter's column in Newsweek cuts to the chase when reviewing the so-called "contributions" of Jerry Falwell.

I mean no disrespect to the dead, but I take the British view of obituaries, which is to try to capture the true public significance of the person who died, not just his good qualities. The truth about the Rev. Jerry Falwell is that he was a character assassin and hype artist who left little positive impact on the United States -- and little negative impact either, for that matter.

Besides founding Liberty University, he won't be remembered as nearly as influential as he's made out to be.

First, his real legacy: Falwell built the Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia from scratch into a mega-church with a 6,000-seat auditorium. And he built Liberty University into a formidable institution that attracts over 20,000 students from around the world and a qualified faculty. Last year, Liberty's debate team won the national championship. It's not easy to create a university and Falwell deserves credit as an institution-builder. He will also be remembered through a famous Supreme Court case he lost, Hustler vs. Falwell, which established that public figures cannot recover damages when depicted in parodies. (The story of the lawsuit is told in the film, The People vs. Larry Flynt). In that sense, he inadvertently helped bolster the First Amendment.

But Falwell's political legacy is much less impressive. He started out as a segregationist who harshly attacked Martin Luther King through the 1960s and later called Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa a phony. He was a strong supporter of Israel but openly anti-Semitic, announcing on many occasions that the anti-Christ would return as a Jew.

On September 13, 2001, Falwell said this on Pat Robertson's show, The 700 Club: "The enemies of America give us probably what we deserve." When asked to elaborate, Falwell added, "When we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way -- all of them who have tried to secularize America -- I point the finger in their face and say, 'you helped this happen.'" Robertson replied, "Well, I totally concur." Falwell later apologized, unconvincingly, for offending anyone.

It was fitting that this was said on Robertson's program, not Falwell's. That's because Falwell never had great success as a broadcaster or televangelist. His Old Time Gospel Hour was never the most popular religious program. While he claimed 20 million viewers, the real number was a tiny fraction of that, usually below one ratings point. In the November, 1980 Nielsen ratings, for instance, Old Time Gospel Hour was watched by 1.21 million people -- well behind not just Oral Roberts and Jimmy Swaggert but Rex Humbard and James Robison.

According to lore (and much of the coverage of his death), November, 1980 found Falwell at the peak of his powers. That was the month Ronald Reagan was elected president, after having met with Falwell and other members of his brilliantly-named organization, "The Moral Majority." While Falwell might have contributed slightly to Reagan's margin of victory, he was not even close to being instrumental in his election. With incumbent Jimmy Carter bogged down with the Iranian hostage crisis and double-digit inflation and interest rates, Reagan won with 57 percent of the vote -- a huge landslide. At best, the Moral Majority added a point or two to Reagan's totals. More likely, it contributed nothing. Exit polls showed that Carter bested Reagan among Southern Baptists, 50-46 percent. And abortion ranked well behind foreign policy and economics among issues that mattered most to voters that year.

The Moral Majority claimed to have registered eight million new voters but could never provide any hard figures, and many smaller evangelical organizations said they operated independently of Falwell. (In fact, there was considerable tension within the religious right). The real political muscle was provided by Robertson and his protégé, Ralph Reed. Their Christian Coalition was far more powerful than the Moral Majority, whose voter guides were never credited with winning any particular election.

From the 1980s on, Falwell existed mostly as a media creation, not a real player in national politics. He missed the cable TV revolution, which deprived him of a platform. He took over Jimmy and Tammy Faye Bakker's PTL after it collapsed in scandal, but by then its revenues were a modest $13 million. The related theme park, Heritage USA, went into Chapter 11. His monthly magazine, National Liberty Journal, became a modest success, with an unaudited circulation of 250,000.

Falwell's power was hyped not just by him but by a media establishment that needed a consistently conservative voice -- not to mention a "guest" who could usually be counted on to show up at the studio on time and say something provocative. On shows like Nightline and Larry King Live, Falwell became a spokesman for the religious right and "good TV." Who can forget when he claimed that the Teletubbies character Tinky Winky was actually a hidden symbol of the homosexual agenda? Ironically, he may have loomed larger among secular audiences than religious ones.

In 1994, Falwell paid for a documentary called The Clinton Chronicles that supposedly implicated Bill Clinton, Vincent Foster, Ron Brown and Jim McDougal in a cocaine-smuggling operation. A man shown in the film in silhouette claimed that President Clinton ordered several of his critics killed. Falwell never repudiated the film, though he later admitted "I do not know the accuracy" of it. Some of the characters featured in the film became involved in the Paula Jones lawsuit that led to Clinton's impeachment, though Falwell was not central to that story either.

The rise of the religious right was an important development in late-20th Century American history. Falwell's name is among those associated with the movement. But just because someone is famous doesn't make him significant. Jerry Falwell wasn't.