POLITICS - CULTURE - TECHNOLOGY
For decades now I have published records, CDs, movies, books and articles. If you read through the bio on this site, you will find more information on all of this than most sane people would find interesting. Many have commented that I seem to spread myself thin across a wide, even scattered, range of activities. But for me, all these things are just different ways of approaching the intersection of art, politics, culture, nature and technology. I hope the threads leading to this intersection will be clear from the postings on this blog. Thanks for visiting.
Thoughtful, passionate, and incredibly thorough blog on the Middle East. My favorite way to follow the ongoing catastrophe.
Web site to support US troops who refuse to fight in Iraq. For a detailed argument why the most important factor in ending the Vietnam war was the refusal of American troops to fight it, see the relevant chapter of my book People's Movements, People's Press.
(more links to come)
I now do all of my blogging at the Huffington Post.
Below you can find the archive of this site's old blog. It will no longer be updated.
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Hot Tips for Gay Guys
Hot tip for all you gay guys out there who are worried you are not getting enough action: check out the men’s bathroom wherever Republicans gather.
The media reported today that Larry E. Craig, Republican of Idaho, was arrested in June by an undercover police officer in a men’s bathroom at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, and pleaded guilty to “disorderly conduct.” From the arrest report:
At 1216 hours, Craig tapped his right foot. I recognized this as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct. Craig tapped his toes several times and moves his foot closer to my foot.... The presence of others did not seem to deter Craig as he moved his right foot so that it touched the side of my left foot which was within my stall area. Craig then proceeded to swipe his hand under the stall divider several times.
Craig told the cops "that he has a wide stance when going to the bathroom and that his foot may have touched mine," the arrest report states. According to the police report, at one point Craig handed the plainclothes sergeant who arrested him a business card that identified him as a U.S. Senator and said, "What do you think about that?"
What do we think about that? What do we think about this:
In another recent episode of bizarre Reublican homo behavior, Florida state Rep. Robert "Bob" Allen, R-Merritt Island, was arrested last month for soliciting an undercover male officer for sex in the men’s bathroom at a park in Central Florida. This guy was actually co-chair of Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign in Florida.
But the story gets better. In the last session of the Florida legislature he sponsored a failed bill that would have tightened the state's prohibition on public sex. He also has been a supporter of amending the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage and has opposed a bill to curb bullying of gay students. In fact, he was the Police Union's 2007 Lawmaker of the Year! Hooray for Bob Allen!!
And there’s more even! The cops released a tape made after the arrestin Allen admited to soliciting the cop but claimed he only did so because he was scared of being in a bathroom with a black man.
"I certainly wasn't there to have sex with anybody and certainly wasn't there to exchange money for it," Allen told officers. Allen said the underdover cop “was a pretty stocky black guy, and there was nothing but other black guys around in the park. I was worried I was about to be a statistic."
You can’t make this stuff. Every part of these stories is weird. The idea that powerful white men cruise for sex in public bathrooms, the idea that undercover cops have nothing better to do but sit on toilets waiting for lonely men, the idea that closet homos run the Republican Party and promote anti-gay legislation. But really nothing can top the idea that a white man might defend himself against accusations of soliciting an undercover cop for sex by pointing out that the cop was black. This is weird on so many levels you don’t even know where to begin.
In a related development, the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles recently settled their outstanding lawsuits involving priests molesting boys for $660 million paid to some 500 people. They had already paid $114 million to settle 86 claims, for a grand total of $774 million (three quarters of a billion dolllars) to about 600 people. It is clear that in many of these cases the reason the church was willing to pay such huge fees was to prevent the suits from going to trial, at which they would have been forced to divulge much more information concerning priestly sex abuse.
This is a tragic waste of Church money. They are paying more than a million dollars a boy! I know guys who would have jumped at the opportunity to perform those services for one tenth the amount. If they had just said up front that there are a lot of Catholic priests into kinky stuff with boysand were willing to pay, say, $100k per kid, they would have had a line of applicants that stretched for blocks of poor unfortunate young men. Many of them would be young men who had been kicked out of their homes by their religious parents for being honest and open about being gay, would be basically homeless, and would be happy to dress up in weird religious clothing and mumble religious mumbo jumbo while performing whatever sexual acts for $100k. I mean, that would pay for a GED and a college education! And the Church would save millions – a win-win situation!
Posted on 28 Aug 2007
50,000 Americans died in the Vietnam war. Less than 4,000 have died in Iraq.. One of the big reasons for this is that battlefield medicine has improved to where many of the wounds that killed American soldiers in Vietnam can now be survived through the latest surgical techniques.
The full implications of this development can be seen in a profoundly disturbing portrait by Nina Berman, from her recent book, Purple Hearts: Back From Iraq. The picture is a wedding portrait of Renee Kline, 21, and Ty Ziegel, 24. Ty is wearing a Marine dress uniform and Renee a traditional wedding dress.
Ty’s face was melted and skull shattered in Iraq. After 19 surgeries, his skull has been replaced by a plastic dome. The plastic has been covered with grafted skin. He has no nose, and no chin. There are holes where his eyes and ears should be. He cannot show any sort of expression. Renee can, and the expression in this, her wedding portrait, sums up everything I have ever thought about this sick and tragic war.
All Americans should take a long look at this picture, but be forewarned: it is deeply disturbing. Just as disturbing as the war itself.Marine Wedding portrait
Posted on 23 Aug 2007
You are probably familiar with science fiction narratives set in a future in which humanity calamitous events have forced humanity to live underground. A recent news story about the expanding tunnel system in Houston shows this fiction to be creeping toward reality.
Downtown Houston now has seven color-coded miles of tunnels connecting 77 buildings. The system is extensive enough to support Discover Houston Tours, a business run by Sandra Lord. Corporations pay Ms. Lord to orient new employees below ground, and she has led nearly 45,000 souls through the labyrinth.
The reason for the tunnels is the increasingly harsh environment above ground. August. The thermometer hit 101 or higher August 12, 13 and 14, and last Thursday Tropical Storm Erin flooded many streets. No problem: the tunnels are air-conditioned, and after Tropical Storm Allison in 2001, submarine-type doors with inflatable rubber insulation for airtight seals were installed.
True to many sci-fi scenarios, most of the tunnels are privately owned. “Each segment is controlled by the individual building owner who deigns to allow the public access during business hours — and then locks the doors on nights and weekends. Some parts, like those belonging to the former Enron buildings now leased by Chevron, are closed to outsiders altogether.”
The most striking element in the story is the bit about the YMCA camp counselor taking his 21 campers hiking in the tunnels because it was too hot outside to do the real-world hike they had planned.
In sci-fi scenarios, catastrophe generally comes suddenly and announces itself with cinematic sweep, like the viral epidemic that forced humanity rapidly underground in 12 Monkeys. In real history, catastrophe arrives gradually over many years, slow enough for most steps along the route to appear insignificant, as recently documented by scholars such as Jared Diamond and others.see the original story here
Posted on 23 Aug 2007
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